Ex-IAAF Chief Defended By Africa Athletics Body

The Confederation of African Athletics (CAA) has remarked its officials are targeted in a negative way in the fight against doping that has stunned the track and field at the moment.

Sebastian Coe

In a statement, CAA president Kalkaba Malboum said the African athletics family is living some particularly difficult moments for some days due to allegations against some of its members, mainly (honorary) president Lamine Diack, as part of an investigation led by the Independent Commission of World Anti-Doping Agency. The statement also said former International Association of Athletics Federation (IAAF) president Lamine Diack of Senegal is being condemned without trial for abetting doping.

Malboum, who is also an IAAF council member, said he without judging on the ongoing investigation would say that all people who are mentioned in this matter fully benefit from the presumption of innocence. Malboum added it is our duty to talk to you and to all the family members whom I call to unity, peace and serenity especially in this difficult moment. Malboum went on to add that we despite this turbulence aiming at Africa still show our loyalty, our affection and our full support to president Lamine Diack who has devoted himself, soul and body for decades to serve this discipline both on continental and world levels.

Lamine and his son are presently being investigated by French authorities on various alleged breaches of the IAAF code of ethics. Papa Massata Diack, the son of former IAAF chief and a former consultant to the IAAF, is facing charges of breaching the IAAF code of ethics. Valentin Balakhnichev [the former president of the All-Russia Athletic Federation (ARAF)], Alexei Melnikov (the former chief ARAF coach for long distance walkers and runners), and Gabriel Dolle (the former director of the IAAF's anti-doping department) are also being investigated.

The association of Nike with the IAAF is giving sleepless nights to many. The present IAAF President Sebastian Coe indicated when he was elected that he would resist calls to give up his £100,000 a year ambassadorial role with Nike but now says he will review all his relationships by the end of the year. The IAAF chief maintained that there is absolutely no conflict of interest between his Nike role that is centered on Nike's anti-obesity campaign Designed to Move and was agreed in 2012 and his position as leader of world athletics.

Coe is presently facing questions over role in Eugene 2021 bidding process after emails emerged that he discussed his support for the successful bid by Eugene to stage the 2021 world athletics championships with executives from the company. Coe however claims that he did not lobby for the Eugune bid and his been open about his support for the bid. The IAAF chief said it was natural for him to encourage the town. Diack abruptly decided in April of this year to award the 2021 championships to Eugene without a vote that enraged a proposed rival bid from Gothenburg.

The Kenya Anti-Fraud Unit and Criminal Investigation Department is presently investigating Kenya's IAAF council member David Okeyo for his role to sign a new deal from Nike that saw the American sports firm pay $500,000 as signing fees for the official to use.

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