- Title: Athletics can't sweep anything under the carpet anymore, say integrity chiefs
- Date: 3rd August 2017
- Summary: LONDON, ENGLAND, UNITED KINGDOM (AUGUST 2, 2017) (REUTERS) (SOUNDBITE) (English) ATHLETICS INTEGRITY UNIT BOARD CHAIRPERSON, DAVID HOWMAN, TALKING ABOUT THE RUSSIAN ATHLETES WHO HAVE BEEN GIVEN NEUTRAL STATUS TO COMPETE AT THE IAAF WORLD CHAMPIONSHIPS AND WHETHER IT WOULD BE EMBARRASSING IF ANY OF THEM WERE CAUGHT FOR DOPING, SAYING: "Well I think it would be embarrassing for the athlete first. I think the criteria that we were set to look at whether any of these applications would get through were criteria that were followed on each case. A decision was written in relation to each one of the 190 applications so they can be found; they're on our website and you will see the ones that satisfied the criteria did it in a way which was acceptable. Now that doesn't mean that any one of them or any other athlete hasn't in the interim taken bad substances just before they've come to the World Championships. It doesn't mean that none of them will succumb to the temptation of taking something during the world championships. You can't guarantee that human behaviour is such that that won't happen. So what we can do is say we're going to have best practice, best anti-doping programme you could possibly have at the moment based on information and intelligence gathering and we'll see the outcome following the event."
- Embargoed: 17th August 2017 08:25
- Keywords: Athletics Integrity Unit oversees IAAF world championships anti-doping programme David Howman talks about anti-doping Hacking of athlete's information corruption betting
- Location: LONDON, ENGLAND, UNITED KINGDOM
- City: LONDON, ENGLAND, UNITED KINGDOM
- Country: United Kingdom
- Topics: Athletics,Sport
- Reuters ID: LVA00D6SLQJ3Z
- Aspect Ratio: 16:9
- Story Text: The Athletics Integrity Unit will not allow anything to be swept under the carpet as it battles doping and corruption in the sport, according to former senior World Anti-Doping Agency official David Howman.
Howman, who is the chair of the AIU's board, was speaking to Reuters ahead of the IAAF World Championships where the unit is working with UK athletics in overseeing the anti-doping programme. The AIU took over from the IAAF's former anti-doping department and manages testing, intelligence gathering and investigations among other things.
It also addresses issues of bribery, corruption, betting and the manipulation of competition results in athletics.
Brett Clothier, who was appointed the head of the AIU only two weeks ago, has been quick to act by teaming up with the British Gambling Commission to monitor any irregular betting patterns during the world championships, although the Australian admitted it is not a big problem in athletics compared with other sports.
Howman said there have been several challenges for the AIU since it was formed in April; most notably has been their role in deciding which Russian athletes would be allowed to compete with a neutral status in the world championships. Of about 190 applications, the AIU approved 19 athletes to compete but Howman said it still doesn't guarantee those athletes are clean. The former WADA Director General stressed though that any Russian who might be found doping would only cause embarrassment for themselves and not the process that cleared them to compete.
Howman and Clothier added that they hope the efforts of the AIU will restore some confidence in athletics for both the general public and the athletes themselves.
IAAF President Seb Coe, who has said Howman is the perfect choice to chair the AIU, is hoping to reform the IAAF following the departure of his predecessor Lamine Diack in 2015. The Senegalese is the subject of an ongoing French investigation into corruption and embezzlement.
The AIU has taken over elements of that investigation including the case of Frankie Fredericks who has temporarily stepped aside from his duties on the IAAF Council pending the results of an ethics investigation.
The Namibian is being investigated by the IOC ethics panel regarding an alleged payment he received from a now-banned athletics official before the 2016 Olympics was awarded to Rio de Janeiro.
The IAAF World Championships begin in London on Friday (August 4).
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