IAAF Deputy Director General Nick Davies, his wife Jane Boulter-Davies, and medical manager Pierre-Yves Garnier have been suspended by the ethics boards of the world governing body of athletics from June 10 for 180 days.
Davies, the closest aide of IAAF President Sebastian Coe, was suspended after an email allegedly sent by him outlined a play to delay naming Russian doping cheats to avoid bad publicity. Nick Davies suggested a 'very secret' five-point plan to Papa Massata Diack, a marketing consultant, for managing media reaction to doping positives. In the email, Davies had wrote to Papa Diack that he is required to 'sit down' with anti-doping team of the world governing body of athletics and discuss 'Russian skeletons in the cupboard'.
Davies, whom IAAF President Coe promoted to run the IAAF office in Monaco after his election as president, stepped down after his 2013 email was revealed by BBC and Le Monde last December.
In response to the provisional suspension, the IAAF issued a statement in which it said there is no greater priority for the IAAF right now than to get to the truth of the allegations that have been made against the sport. The statement further reads that it welcomes these investigations by the ethics board and (its) investigator Sir Anthony Hooper and thanks them for the difficult and hard work they continue to undertake.
The IAAF sanctioned 16 Russian athletes for doping in the four months before the 2013 World Championships but Papa Diack was told by Davies that the governing body of athletics needed to be 'smart' about future doping cases should be announced. Davies went on to suggest that any bans for Russians who are not competing in Moscow to be delayed until after the event or they could be announced in ones and twos along with bans for athletes from other countries. The IAAF Deputy Director General also suggested to Papa Diack that the IAAF should make a 'special dossier' for explaining that Russians are tested more often than other countries and also recommended that the athletics' governing body should fund an 'unofficial PR campaign' for dealing with negative stories in the British media where the worst of the articles are coming from.
Davies even went on to suggest using CSM, the sports marketing firm he chairs, and said it is in his interest to ensure the Moscow World Championships is a success and that people do not think the media in his country are trying to destroy it.
The IAAF ethics board, chaired by prominent British lawyer Michael Beloff QC, found 'prima facie' cases that Davies, Boulter-Davies, and Garnier received 'undisclosed cash payments' in 2013 from Papa Massata Diack and they were intended to have 'any manipulative effect' and added they may have 'misled' an IAAF ethics board investigator about them.
An email from Papa Massata Diack to his father revealed that Balakhnichev had asked him to become internally involved with IAAF staff that had been antagonistic towards him in dealing with the Russian doping cases. Papa Diack also explained in the email that lobbying activities were carried out and efforts at providing explanations were made' with Davies, Dolle, Garnier and others, with sums of money listed for 'UK press lobbying' and 'to assuage Jane Boulter'.
Lamine Diack, the former IAAF chief, and his son Papa Diack, the IAAF's former treasurer and Russian athletics chief Valentin Balakhnichev, former IAAF anti-doping boss Gabriel Dolle, and Lamine Diack's legal adviser Habib Cisse have already been suspended for their role in the Russian doping scandal that is also the subject of a French criminal investigation.