MUNICH (Reuters) – Germany’s athletics chief has called for an extraordinary meeting of the IAAF after the second part of a World Anti-Doping Agency report heaped more pressure on the sport’s scandal-hit governing body.
WADA’s independent commission said on Thursday that the former head of world athletics, Lamine Diack, ran a clique that covered up organised doping and blackmailed athletes while senior officials looked the other way.
German athletics (DLV) chief Clemens Prokop made the call for the extraordinary meeting on Friday and later issued a revised statement backing current IAAF president Sebastian Coe.
“The corruption allegations against the former IAAF leadership are so damning and have shaken the credibility of the IAAF so much that a signal of a new start should come from an extraordinary assembly of all members to show their support for Sebastian Coe’s reform programme,” the revised statement said.
“As well as the desire for an extraordinary IAAF Congress, the DLV is fully supporting the president in dealing with the corruption scandals.”
In response to the revised statement, the IAAF said: “The IAAF have been in touch with the German Federation to understand exactly what they were asking.
“Their request is the clearest example of how seriously the IAAF and its members take the details of yesterday’s WADA independent commission report. Together we will drive through the reforms required to tackle the governance weaknesses identified and rebuild trust in the IAAF and athletics.”
The damning report delivered by former WADA president Dick Pound added to the rapidly growing scandal involving organised doping and its concealment that has thrown world athletics into turmoil.
Pound had already rocked the sport in November with the release of the first part of his report, which led to athletics superpower Russia being banned from competition for state-sponsored doping.
But Thursday’s report said the IAAF’s governing council, of which Coe was a member, “could not have been unaware of the extent of doping in athletics and the non-enforcement of applicable anti-doping rules”, piling more pressure on the governing body.
“It is increasingly clear that far more IAAF staff knew about the problems than has currently been acknowledged,” it said. “The corruption was embedded in the organisation.
“It cannot be ignored or dismissed as attributable to the odd renegade acting on his own.”
The scandal has also drawn comparisons with a corruption and governance scandal at the global soccer federation, FIFA.
(Reporting by Karolos Grohmann; Editing by Peter Rutherford)