IOC asks Senegal to cooperate in Diack investigation
MOSCOW, Dec 6, (Agencies): The Russian Olympic Committee has appealed a Moscow court ruling which sought to overturn a doping disqualification against a double gold medalist from the Sochi Winter Olympics.
The Moscow City Court ruled last month that bobsledder Alexander Zubkov – who carried the Russian flag at the Sochi opening ceremony – could keep his medals because a Court of Arbitration for Sport decision to uphold his disqualification wasn’t valid in Russia.
That was a challenge to the authority of CAS and the International Olympic Committee.
The ROC said on Thursday the CAS ruling was valid under international law and that ignoring it could lead to more sanctions against Russia from the IOC – even potentially threatening Russia’s place at the 2020 Olympics in Tokyo.
The ROC added it’s concerned the Moscow court ruling could “give rise to doubt that Russia truly observes the main principles of the fight against doping.”
Zubkov won the two-man and four-man bobsled events at the Sochi Olympics but he was disqualified by the IOC last year. The verdict was upheld by CAS when Zubkov appealed. The Olympic Charter requires all disputes at the games be submitted to CAS.
Zubkov and his teams remain disqualified in official Olympic results, but the Moscow ruling could make it harder for the IOC to get his medals back. Swiss and Latvian teams are in line to inherit the gold-medal spots.
The IOC’s case against Zubkov was based on testimony from Moscow and Sochi anti-doping laboratory director Grigory Rodchenkov, who said he swapped clean samples for ones from doped athletes, and forensic evidence that the allegedly fake sample stored in Zubkov’s name contained more salt than could be possible in urine from a healthy human.
PARIS: IOC president Thomas Bach has formally requested Senegal cooperates with French judicial authorities investigating corruption at the heart of international athletics, sources have told AFP.
Investigators are particularly keen that Papa Massa Diack, son of the former IAAF president Lamine Diack and himself a powerful marketing advisor to the federation, should answer questions.
In a letter seen by AFP sent to the Senegalese President Macky Sall on November 16, Bach said that investigating magistrate, Renaud van Ruymbeke, “told us of the difficulties he has come up against in the execution of the two investigation letters addressed to the Minister of Justice of Senegal”.
“The commitment of your government (…) would be particularly appreciated,” added Bach, who asked that action be taken as quickly as possible.
Papa Massa Diack – known as PMD – is suspected of having received several million euros of bribes, either for sponsorship contracts or to favour the Rio and Tokyo nominations for the 2016 and 2020 Olympics.
PMD has been on Interpol’s most wanted list since December 2015 but is sheltering in Dakar as the Senegalese government refuses to extradite him to France.
“This total ongoing absence of cooperation from Senegal is hindering the smooth conduct of the investigation,” van Ruymbeke told Bach.
Van Ruymbeke said that his request for PMD’s bank records was a “dead letter”.
The Senegalese judiciary previously conducted its own investigation and said it would not extradite one of its nationals.
Lamine Diack, who is forbidden to leave France, was head of the governing body of global athletics from 1999 until his arrest in France in 2015.
He was charged at the time with taking millions of dollars to cover up failed Russian doping tests along with two other IAAF officials. In June he was also charged with favouring his son in negotiations over sponsorship and TV rights.
In October Senegal was awarded the 2022 Youth Olympics.