IN MONTE CARLO, MONACO
World athletics governing body, IAAF, has announced Morocco’s removal from their anti-doping watch list with Kenya among four countries still under surveillance for running “non-compliant” systems in the fight against banned performance-enhancing substances.
IAAF President Seb Coe also told a press conference here on Sunday that the Monaco-based Athletics Integrity Unit is still investigating cases of suspended former Athletics Kenya vice president David Okeyo and treasurer Joseph Kinyua.
Coe said the AIU is working in conjunction with Kenyan investigators in the case in which the two officials have been accused of financial impropriety.
“That’s a matter for the AIU (Athletics Integrity Unit) and that’s an ongoing investigation which is running in tandem with your own (Kenyan) domestic investigations that are taking place,” Coe said on the Okeyo and Kinyua case following a question by Nation Sport.
Both Okeyo and Kinyua have since denied the accusations with the IAAF recently moving to replace Okeyo in its decision-making Council.
“Vivian Gungaram (of Mauritius) has been nominated by the president of the African federation (Malboum Kalkaba) to represent Africa’s additional interests at the council,” said Coe on Sunday.
LAUNCHED IN APRIL
The AIU was launched in April as an independent investigation and integrity arm of the IAAF and is headed by Australian Brett Clothier, a leading sports integrity professional. Okeyo and Kinyua have been accused of misappropriating cash sourced from Athletics Kenya’s kitting contract with American manufacturer Nike.
The IAAF said they would look at anti-doping efforts made in Kenya this year before deciding whether or not to remove the country from their watch list.
Rune Andersen, a Norwegian international anti-doping expert, was in Nairobi last week on an educational session with the Anti-Doping Agency of Kenya (Adak) and intimated to Nation Sport here that while Adak is doing a good job a lot more needs to be done.
“AIU’s recommendation, which Council approved, was that Morocco is removed from the current anti-doping watch list of five countries but will be required to submit activity reports to the AIU during 2018,” a statement by the IAAF said.
“Belarus, Ethiopia, Kenya and Ukraine will remain on the list and a new set of requirements for these four federations will be prepared based upon their anti-doping activities in 2017,” the statement added.
“Monitoring of the compliance with those requirements will be made by the AIU Board who will report back to Council.”
Coe also said Russia remains suspended from international athletics as the Council is still not convinced that Moscow has taken enough steps to assure they are on track with anti-doping reforms.
“The current status is that most, but not all, of the verification criteria have been met (by Russia),” the IAAF said.
The IAAF Council also announced that the Polish port city of Gdynia won the bid to host the 2020 IAAF World Half Marathon Championships and Chinese city Nanjing winning the rights to host the IAAF World Indoor Championships the same year.
The 2020 IAAF World Race Walking Championship was handed to Minsk, Belarus.
It will be the first time for Belarus to host an IAAF championship.