The allegations of athletics corruption and doping are the storm du jour of the ongoing siege that the world of sports finds itself under from the media. This is no surprise with so much of global news confusing or contradictory; match fixing, drug abuse and wife beating are so much easier to understand, and the media has become less and less interested in challenging its viewers and readers. However, that doesn’t mean they’ve not uncovered an ant’s nest, and one that just got a whole lot bigger.
French Look at IOC
- Corruption in bidding?
- Echoes of FIFA scandal?
- Arrests at IAAF
Whilst the TIU attempts to look into tennis match fixing scams, the world of cycling still struggles to be taken seriously and FIFA’s new president tries to draw a veil over the past (ironically with video replays) it is athletics corruption that has hit the headlines the most in recent months. This may not be the first time such allegations have come to light, nor cheaters caught, but it has been so depressingly wide-spead and seems to date back so far the whole sport has been irrevocably tainted.
Those that have bet on sports in the UK over more years than their shoe size may well recall that it was always Eastern European athletes that were supposedly on crazy hormone treatments to make them faster, stronger, better, but it transpires that there were question marks above just about everyone’s head and that some races in the Olympics were the equivalent of pharmacy aisles racing each other to the finish line. The anti-doping efforts of some entire nations have been linked to athletics corruption.
These doping allegations, and the corrupt officials that wholly failed to investigate them are, however, just one side to the athletics corruption scandal; just like FIFA, who have yet to even begin to address the problem of doping in football, athletics is only now beginning to realize just how suspect some of the dealings in the higher echelons of their sport actually were. It is a point, however, not lost upon authorities.
Athletics Corruption May Go All The Way To The Top
FIFA might still have questions to answer over the hosting of the 2022 World Cup and just who was paid how much to make it happen, but French investigators who were looking into the athletics corruption at the International Association Of Athletics Federations (and made multiple arrests in the process) have decided to increase the size and scope of their examination to also involve the bidding and voting that took place for the hosting of the Rio 2016 and Tokyo 2020 Olympic Games.
Lamine Diack, former president of the IAAF is under arrest for athletics corruption and his son, Papa Massata Diack (formerly a marketing consultant for the body) has a warrant out on him, and now the police are looking at the International Olympic Committee? I’m certain gambling news headlines like that will easily counter the hollow protestations from the IOC that they cleaned their act up after the wholesale farce that was the Salt Lake City bribery scandal. Apparently not, guys, apparently not.
Papa Massata, it would seem, sent “parcels” to IOC members in 2008 during the process for selection of the 2016 hosts that included (surprise, surprise) Qatar. Apparently IOC members could “have their parcels delivered through Special Adviser in Monaco”, which makes it sound like it was anything but a fruit basket. The Special Advisor was Papa, and his father is accused of accepting over a million Euros as part of athletics corruption designed to cover up Russian doping allegations, so one can only guess at how much the parcels contained, eh?
IOC Under The Spotlight This Time
“The IOC has been in close contact with the French prosecutors since the beginning of this investigation.” Said an Olympic spokesman of the athletics corruption probe, “The IOC’s chief Ethics & Compliance officer had already asked for the IOC to be fully informed in a timely manner of all issues that may refer to Olympic matters and has already applied to become a party to the investigations led by the French judicial authorities.” Which sounds great, but didn’t they just ask for the police to tip them off when there was evidence against them?
“Rio beat Madrid by a clear margin of 66-32, which excludes any possibility of a manipulated election.” Said the IOC failing to spot that it could well mean that, or just mean that athletics corruption is far, far more widespread than even they themselves realize, and whilst the shift to Tokyo might not have been about a bit sponsorship deal brokered by Diack, there’s more than a little chance it really was and that money changed hands to see the deal done. One way or another the French aim to find out.
If you take advantage of UK gambling laws the chances are you don’t bet on athletics and now there’s even less reason, and with sites like Bet365 giving you so many opportunities and books on the English Premier League, on Formula One or all those American sports, why would you bother even watching something organized by crooks, doped by scientists and won by cheats? What’s the point? Perhaps when the French finish investigating and Seb Coe pulls his finger out it’ll be worth it, but till then?