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LONDON --- The director of IAAF President
Sebastian Coe s office temporarily stepped
down yesterday pending an ethics investiga-
tion into emails linked to Russian doping
Emails sent by Nick Davies, leaked to a French
newspaper and published this week, indicated
that he tried to delay public identification of
alleged Russian drug cheats ahead of the 2013
world championships in Moscow.
"I have decided to step aside from my role
with the IAAF until such time as the ethics
board is able to review the matter properly and
decide if I am responsible for any breach of
the IAAF code of ethics," Davies said in a state-
Davies was IAAF communications director
at the time under Lamine Diack, who was suc-
ceeded by Coe as president in August. The
French criminal case against Diack deepened
this week, with magistrates filing new, tougher
corruption charges against him in connection
with cover-ups of Russian doping.
French prosecutors also suspect Diack s son,
Papa Massata Diack, a former IAAF marketing
consultant, played an active role in an alleged
"system of corruption" that sought to blackmail
athletes, with demands of money to hush-up
Davies is reported to have sent an email to
Papa Massata Diack in 2013 asking what "Russ-
ian skeleton we have still in the cupboard
regarding doping" and suggesting using the
marketing company chaired by Coe --- then
IAAF vice president --- to lead an "unofficial
PR campaign" to "avoid international media
scandals" related to the Moscow championships.
If Russian athletes guilty of doping were not
competing in Moscow, "then we might as well
wait until the event is over to announce them,"
Davies wrote in the email, which was published
Monday by Le Monde.
Coe is now losing one of his closest aides
just as he tries to clean up the scandal-tainted
"In order to demonstrate that I am willing
to have all allegations of unethical behaviour
on my part in 2013 properly and fairly inves-
tigated I have referred my emails to Papa Mas-
sata Diack in 2013, my statements and the cir-
cumstances of the emails to the IAAF ethics
board," Davies said in yesterday s statement.
Davies has suggested that emails reflected
his job "to manage and promote the reputation
of the IAAF."
"What has become apparent today is that
I have become the story," he said. "This is not
helpful at the current time, with ongoing crim-
inal investigations by the French police, the
IAAF s ethics board or WADA --- all of whom
I have voluntarily offered full assistance to and
will continue to do so."
Russia s track and field federation was sus-
pended by the IAAF after a World Anti-Doping
Agency independent commission found evi-
dence of systemic doping and cover-ups.
An official with the Paris financial prosecutor s
office said yesterday that Lamine Diack is now
accused of "active corruption," which generally
involves offering money or other promises in
exchange for violating a rule.
Diack had previously been accused of "passive
corruption," on suspicion he took around 1 mil-
lion euros (US$1.1 million) to cover up positive
drug tests by Russian athletes.
The official said the new preliminary charges
center on suspicions that Diack bribed Gabriel
Dolle, the IAAF s former anti-doping chief who
also under investigation, to delay reporting of
violations by Russian athletes.
The official was not authorised to be publicly
named speaking about an ongoing investiga-
The preliminary charges allow magistrates
more time to investigate before deciding whether
to file formal charges and whether to send a
case to trial. Diack, an 82-year-old former long
jumper, is free on bail pending further inves-
tigation but barred from leaving France.
Papa Massata Diack told the BBC that his
father is in "good spirits" despite the inves-
The younger Diack also said he "totally
rejects" accusations he himself had any role in
blackmailing athletes or seeking money from
Qatar ahead of its unsuccessful bid to host the
2017 world championships. (AP)
Coe aide temporarily steps down from IAAF
...amid ethics probe
Former president of the International
Association of Athletics Federations
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