ARAF accepts full suspension – IAAF Council meeting, Monaco

Monaco, Nov 26, 2015: The full suspension of ARAF and the formation of an IAAF Integrity Unit were confirmed today at the 202nd IAAF Council Meeting in Monaco.

The meeting was chaired by IAAF President Sebastian Coe. Two members were absent: individual member Mikhail Butov (RUS) and African Area Association representative David Okeyo (KEN).

In his opening address Sebastian Coe said: “We must work hard to restore trust and to show the real values and potential of Athletics. We have a unique opportunity now to face the future with optimism. Let us make sure that we have the right people, in the right places and the right structure to take the sport to a better place.”

Council was informed that written confirmation had been received from ARAF accepting their full suspension without requesting a hearing as was their constitutional right.

ARAF confirmed they understood that Council would only accept their reinstatement as an IAAF Member Federation following the recommendation of the IAAF Inspection Team who will decide if the verification criteria have been fulfilled. ARAF also confirmed they will cooperate fully and actively with the team.

Council discussed the process which over the next three weeks will lead to a final set of criteria and the verification process. The plan is to present a detailed list of verification criteria to ARAF by the end of the year.

Council agreed a process for the reallocation of the two IAAF World Athletics Series competitions – 2016 World Race Walking Team Championships (Cheboksary, RUS) and 2016 World Junior Championships (Kazan, RUS) – which have been removed from Russia due to ARAF’s suspension.

A number of countries have already expressed interest in staging these events. An accelerated bidding process will open next week with a decision in early January.

Council agreed to the formation of an Integrity Unit to keep Athletics clean and to safeguard the integrity of the IAAF.
Reports were presented to Council from all the IAAF departments.

Sebastian Coe also briefed his colleagues about changes which have taken place in Monaco since he took office as president on 31 August.
The annual contract which provided a permanent serviced apartment in the five star Fairmont Hotel for the President’s use had been cancelled immediately on his taking office.

The IAAF President’s office ‘Villa Miraflores’ has also been closed and handed back to the Principality of Monaco. All IAAF staff personnel formerly based there have now transferred to the IAAF HQ Office on Quai Antoine.

Sebastian Coe encouraged all his Council colleagues to complete their declarations of interest and, as he said he would do, announced the following changes to his registration of interests:
– He has stepped down from his ambassador role with Nike as the current noise level around this ambassadorial role was not good for the IAAF nor Nike.
– He is Chairman of CSM, one of the world’s largest sports marketing agencies operating in 19 countries. Although CSM’s revenue from athletics is negligible, the company has agreed that it will not tender for, nor directly work for the IAAF, nor any city in relation to their tender to the IAAF while he is President of the IAAF.
– He will step down as Chairman of the British Olympic Association at the conclusion of the Rio 2016 Olympic Games.

Commenting on behalf of the Council, new Council Member Stephanie Hightower said: “We know we need to re build trust with our fans and this will be a long journey.”
“But we also need to show our athletes that we are serious about supporting clean athletes and will not tolerate cheating at any level.”
“The whole system has failed the athletes. We need to better understand the triggers and flags that will enable us to identify problems early and fix them sooner.”
“All my council colleagues are determined to repair the failures and rebuild trust amongst athletes and fans.” —- IAAF

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