IAAF to double anti-doping budget in bid to restore trust
The IAAF is planning to double its anti-doping budget as part of president Sebastian Coe’s “road map” to rebuilding trust in athletics.
Athletics was embroiled in scandal in 2015 after an independent commission set up by WADA produced a report that ultimately led to Russia’s IAAF suspension amid claims of state-sponsored doping.
Former IAAF president Lamine Diack is also facing corruption allegations after suspicions were aroused that he received money to defer charges against Russian athletes.
Coe, elected as Diack’s successor, vowed to fix the problems engulfing athletics and an IAAF statement released on Tuesday detailed his plan.
Part of Coe’s vision is to set up a separate integrity unit “that ensures greater independence in reviewing key issues impacting upon the integrity of competition such as doping, corruption, betting and age manipulation” in time for the Rio Olympics.
By mid-2016, the IAAF wants to double the anti-doping budget from $4million to $8m, while also doubling the international testing pool of athletes to 1,000.
The statement warned member federations to expect more accountability in “anti-doping and other integrity-related matters”, with the threat of IAAF suspension or ineligibility for major championships for non-compliance.
In addition, Coe’s road map set out a plan for rebuilding trust in the IAAF, including modernising its constitution and vowing further transparency with the independent IAAF Ethics Commission.
“Be under no illusion about how seriously I take these issues. I am president of an international federation which is under serious investigations and I represent a sport under intense scrutiny,” Coe said in the release.
“My vision is to have a sport that attracts more young people. The average age of those watching track and field is 55 years old. This is not sustainable.
“The key to making that vision a reality is creating a sport that people once more trust in. Athletics must be a sport that athletes, fans, sponsors, media and parents alike know is safe to compete in on a level playing field and one in which clean effort is rewarded and celebrated.”