Response to the report from WADA Independent Commission-A View from Europe by Alfons Juck, EME News

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Savinova_MariyaFV-WorldInd10.jpgSaminova overcomes Meadows in World Indoors 2010, from PhotoRun.net

The report today is 300 plus pages of documents supporting Mr. Pound's assertions that the Russian system of cheating was widely supported in the culture of Russia. Pound noted that FSB agents intimidated drug testers over athletes' tests in Sochi.

But the issue comes down to this. I remember, about 2003, Kathy Butler, a fine Canadian runner who ran at Wisconsin, showing me how much money (about $60k), she thought she lost due to a Russian runner who had obviously cheated, but got off due to a break in the drug testing protocal.

I think of Kathy's comments to me every time I see an athlete like Jenny Meadows or Alysia Montano, who were cheated out of medals for years.

Nothing, nothing can give them back their medals, or that wonderful moment when you know that all of those years of hard work, those times of fear brought on by injuries, were worth it.

How does one explain that your moment will NEVER be felt?


LAUSANNE (SUI): A report by the World Anti-Doping Agency Independent Commission has recommended that Russia be suspended from all international athletics competitions, five competitors and five coaches banned for life and its testing laboratory should be stripped of accreditation, following a number of doping and corruption allegations exposed by German channel ARD. These devastating recommendations, unveiled by Commission chief and former WADA president Richard Pound in a news conference in Geneva today,confirmed the said allegations and represent a massive blow not only to Russian international prestige generally but also to world athletics and potentially to the Olympics in Rio de Janeiro next year. Pound´s investigation uncovered concerns about criminal activity pertaining to three senior athletics officials including Lamine Diack, however this aspect of the investigation was not considered legally appropriate yet for publication and discussion. Writes AIPS. Five athletes who won medals at London Games should not have been allowed to compete. In the 800 m winner Mariya Savinova and bronze winner Yekaterina Poistogova, 20 km walker Olga Kaniskina (silver) and 50 km walker Sergey Kirdyapkin (gold). Also mentioned is 1500 m initial winner Asli Cakir Alptekin from Turkey.

Interpol Statement: Operation Augeas
LYON (FRA): Interpol is to coordinate a global investigation led by France into an alleged international corruption scam involving sports officials as well as athletes suspected of a doping cover-up. The announcement follows today's publication of a report by an Independent Commission established by the World Anti-Doping Agency (WADA) investigating a number of individuals, including former officials of the International Association of Athletics Federations (IAAF). During its investigation the Independent Commission requested assistance from Interpol´s anti-doping unit to contact national law enforcement agencies in countries where potential infractions had been identified in order to share intelligence. Depending on the progression and outcome of the investigation, and in collaboration with the relevant authorities, the Independent Commission expects to publish the full and final version of its report by the end of 2015.

IAAF Statement
MONACO (MON): In response to WADA's Independent Commission report issued today, the IAAF President, Sebastian Coe, has taken the urgent step of seeking approval from his fellow IAAF Council Members to consider sanctions against the Russian Athletics Federation (ARAF). These sanctions could include provisional and full suspension and the removal of future IAAF events. Commenting on the report, the IAAF President said: "The information in WADA's Independent Commissions Report is alarming. We need time to properly digest and understand the detailed findings included in the report. However, I have urged the Council to start the process of considering sanctions against ARAF. This step has not been taken lightly. Our athletes, partners and fans have my total assurance that where there are failures in our governance or our anti-doping programmes we will fix them. We will do whatever it takes to protect the clean athletes and rebuild trust in our sport. The IAAF will continue to offer the police authorities our full co-operation into their ongoing investigation.

IAAF Impose Deadline
MONACO (MON): IAAF President Sebastian Coe has said that the world governing body has requested that Russia report back to the IAAF by the end of the week, report AP. Coe said, "I want an explanation for the allegations that have been made today."

USADA Statement
COLORADO SPRINGS (USA): USADA applauds the work of the WADA Independent Commission, led by Mr. Pound, in exposing a Russian effort to takeover sport through unlawful means. The evidence released today demonstrates a shocking level of corruption, and sends a clear message to Russia that they will not be allowed to cheat the world's athletes and escape justice behind a wall of deception and lies. If Russia has created an organized scheme of state supported doping, then they have no business being allowed to compete on the world stage. The world's athletes deserve better, and all who love clean sport must rise up and confront this threat. We will continue to fight on behalf of all clean athletes to ensure that clear and decisive action is taken to sweep out anyone who has been involved with this scheme."

IOC Statement on Diack
LAUSANNE (SUI): The International Olympic Committee Ethics Commission has recommended the provisional suspension of Mr Lamine Diack as an Honorary Member of the IOC.

IOC Statement on WADA Report
LAUSANNE (SUI): This is a deeply shocking report and very saddening for the world of sport. The IOC trusts that the new leadership of the IAAF with its President Sebastian Coe will draw all the necessary conclusions and will take all the necessary measures. In this context the IOC welcomes the clear commitment expressed by IAAF to do "whatever it takes to protect the clean athletes and rebuild trust in our sport." With regard to the Olympic Games, the IOC will continue to take whatever measures needed to safeguard clean athletes, clean sport and good governance. The IOC will also carefully study the report with regard to the Olympic Games. If any infringements on the anti-doping rules by athletes and or their entourage should be established, the IOC will react with its usual zero tolerance policy.

EA Statement
FRANKFURT (GER): European Athletics has received notice of the WADA report issued at its press conference in Geneva. European Athletics acknowledges the seriousness of the contents of the report and their implications for the sport of athletics. We will be meeting with six European members of the IAAF Council tomorrow as part of the ongoing European Athletics Council meeting in Frankfurt. At this meeting, we will be asking a number of questions related to today's report and the allegations related to IAAF as reported in the media last week.

Athletics Australia Statement
SYDNEY (AUS): Athletics Australia Chief Executive Officer, Phil Jones, has spoken firmly in the wake of the release of the World Anti-Doping Agency (WADA) Independent Commission Report. The statement also says among others that "Athletics Australia also applauds the Report for recommending further investigation by WADA into the doping case of, amongst others, Sergey Kirdyapkin. It has always seemed extraordinary to us that as a result of doping infractions Mr. Kirdyapkin was banned from competition before and after the 2012 Olympic Games, but eligible to race in London. It is our opinion that Jared Tallent is the rightful gold medallist in the men's 50km walk. We expect action to ensure that this matter is resolved by the Court of Arbitration for Sport as soon as possible."

MONACO (MON): IAAF President Sebastian Coe has claimed on Sunday he is "more determined than ever to rebuild this sport and restore trust" following the scandal involving his predecessor Lamine Diack, who allegedly accepted cash to cover up positive doping cases involving Russian athletes. Coe was making his first public response since Diack was placed under official investigation. Coe also spoke on Sunday with Reuters, AFP, AP and BBC.

KOLN (GER): German 1972 and 1984 Olympic winner in women high jump Ulrike Nasse-Meyfarth has rejected the inclusion in the IAAF Hall of Fame. German media are reporting. She was supposed to be inaugurated into the Hall of Fame at the traditional IAAF Gala which is now cancelled. She explained her position with the current corruption scandal.

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