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  • IAAF Responds to Open Letter to Sebastian Coe


    Note: AIPS President Gianni Merlo's open letter to IAAF President Sebastian Coe can be found here.

    Dear Gianni,
    IAAF response to open letter from AIPS President Gianni Merlo (IAAF)

    Thank you for the letter which you published on the AIPS website.

    You begin asking about the new ‘Report Doping’ portal. “The problem will be the investigations, looking into the tips. Who will follow up on the anonymous suggestions and the whispers?" Currently the intelligence unit of the IAAF anti-doping department is following up the leads but that will soon become the responsibility of the Athletics Integrity Unit which, with a budget of US$8million, will be launched at the beginning of April this year.

    As our press release of 19 December reconfirmed: “The unit will be a fiercely independent organisation with responsibility for the management of all aspects of the anti-doping programme for international-level athletes and their athlete support personnel as well as for the management of all other integrity-related programmes operated in elite athletics. The unit will manage a full range of functional activities from education and prevention to results management, investigations, prosecutions and appeals. The unit will also have a key role in monitoring the compliance of member federations with their obligations under the Integrity Code of Conduct.

    As to the proposal to scrap the world records list which is the core of your letter, we understand the frustrations, “the doubts of the past” which you outline. We know that systems have in the past produced athletes that have probably not achieved records legitimately.

    However, that's a very different thing from penalising clean athletes who have gone about breaking records based upon the hard work and dedication during their young lives, with clean coaches and clean federations.

    That said we welcome the debate and, as you will recall, UK Athletics Chairman Ed Warner included this particular recommendation in UKA’s manifesto of 11 January 2016. UKA will, of course, share the conclusions of their work when it has been completed. In the meantime our primary focus is to the clean athletes who have legitimately set world records. If the records list is scrapped not only do these clean athletes risk losing their place in history, they face the implication that their records have not been achieved cleanly.

    Kind regards,

    Chris Turner
    IAAF Communications Department – Deputy Director, PR