IAAF Letter

nick bitel
nick bitel
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Representing the community of athletes at large and in particular speaking on behalf of the numerous athletes who suffered losses of financial earnings, medals, and public recognition as a result of the systemic cheating through the use of doping substances in Russian athletics and corrupt practices:

A. We NOTE that the Objects of the IAAF include:-

1. To promote the sport of Athletics and its ethical values as an educational subject and life affirming and life enhancing activity.

2. To compile and enforce rules and regulations governing Athletics and to ensure in all competitions, whether sanctioned by the IAAF, an Area Association or a Member, that such rules and regulations shall be applied in accordance with their terms.

3. To supervise and enforce the obligations of Members.

4. To promote fair play in sport, in particular, to play a leading role in the fight against doping both within Athletics and externally in the wider sporting community and to develop and maintain programmes of detection, deterrence and education which are aimed at the eradication of the scourge of doping within sport.

5. To safeguard the authenticity and integrity of Athletics and to take all possible measures to eliminate corrupt conduct which might place the authenticity or integrity of Athletics at risk.

B. We NOTE that:-

1. Under IAAF Competitions Rule 40.14(a) as a condition to regaining eligibility at the end of a specified period of Ineligibility, an Athlete must repay any and all prize and appearance money that he has received in relation to performances in Competitions from the date of the Sample collection that resulted in an Adverse Analytical Finding or other anti-doping rule violation, or from the date of the commission of any other anti-doping rule violation, going forward;

2. Under its Constitution, the IAAF has the power to impose any other sanction it may deem to be appropriate against a Member found to be in breach of the objects of the IAAF.

C. Accordingly We URGE the IAAF:

1. To require that before the All-Russia Athletics Federation (ARAF) is reinstated and its athletes permitted to return to international competition, ARAF must pay to the IAAF all prize money and appearance fees paid by events to any and all Russian athletes whose results in those events have subsequently been nullified for doping offenses since 2009.

2. To distribute these prize moneys to the affected athletes, i.e. those athletes who rightfully should have earned prize money or higher prize money for their results in events in which they finished behind said Russian athletes.

3. To provide an update on progress on the recommendation from WADA in its November 14, 2015 Independent Commission Report that “... before any International Event entries are accepted from ARAF, ARAF must provide the IAAF, the Ministry of Sport and WADA with a list of all athletes and coaches provided with doping substances and/or counseled by Dr. Sergei Nikolaevich Portugalov regarding doping." Such a list will be a valuable supplement to the list of banned athletes Council should use in helping form the database of affected prize-winning clean athletes.

D. We PROTEST in the strongest terms any reinstatements of any banned athletes (including so-called “whistle-blowers”) without the full repayment of their unfairly gained prize moneys. Our concern on this issue is quite straightforward: The earnings that such athletes have been allowed or might be allowed to keep are not financial assets that are the property of WADA or the IAAF to negotiate away. This money rightfully belongs to those athletes whose earnings were reduced by cheating athletes who finished ahead of them in various events. WADA and the IAAF have no right to use such earnings as a bargaining tool without fully consulting those athletes who have been negatively affected.

Our belief is that such requirements both fair and reasonable. We also urge the IAAF Council to move with the utmost speed on these matters.