Former Athletics Namibia president Frank Fredericks was this week announced as a member of the IAAF Inspection Team to determine the qualification for membership of the IAAF by the All-Russian Athletics Federation (ARAF).
The IAAF Inspection Team, which will verify the reforms programme in Russia to enable the ARAF to gain re-acceptance for IAAF membership, is led by an independent Chair, Rune Andersen, a Norwegian international anti-doping expert.
Aside from Frank Fredericks, the team also include three other IAAF Council Members: Abby Hoffman (CAN), Anna Riccardi (ITA) and Geoff Gardner (NFI).
Prior to joining WADA in 2002, Rune Andersen served as head of the Department for Ethics, Sports Medicine, and Anti-Doping at the Norwegian Olympic and Paralympic Committee and Confederation of Sports (NIF) and was Member of the Monitoring Group for the Council of Europe’s Anti-Doping Convention.
Abby Hoffman is a Senior Executive in the Ministry of Health of the Government of Canada and has been the co-ordinator of the IAAF Anti-doping Task Force since 2004.
Anna Riccardi is a Technical Delegate for the Rio Olympic Games and is CONI’s (Italian NOC) Head of Team Services Sport and Olympic Programme Area.
Frank ‘Frankie’ Fredericks is an IOC Member, Chairman of the IAAF Athletes’ Commission and a former Chairman of the IOC Athletes’ Commission.
Geoff Gardner is President of the Oceania Athletics Association and formerly Chief Minister, Speaker and Member of the Legislative Assembly of Norfolk Island.
Principles upon which ARAF Inspection Criteria will be based
ARAF’s qualification for membership of the IAAF will be verified by the IAAF Inspection Team based upon criteria which will be decided by the IAAF in consultation with WADA.
The process of defining those criteria will be based on fundamental principles which seek to address the failings that led to the provisional suspension of ARAF’s membership.
IAAF President Sebastian Coe commented: “The verification criteria must be robust otherwise the inspection process will fail. Repeating past failings which have brought ARAF to their current position is not an option. To succeed this process must guarantee a level playing field and thereby re-establish confidence in the integrity of competition.”
The PRINCIPLES by which the verification criteria are being drawn-up are as follows:
- Immediate corrective and disciplinary measures
Identifying, investigating, suspending, sanctioning or excluding from ARAF all athletes, athlete support personnel (coaches, doctors, agents), administrators, members or other persons who have committed an anti-doping rule violation or engaged in any kind of intentional act of complicity (assisting, encouraging, abetting or covering-up) in connection with the doping scheme identified by the Independent Commission (IC) or as otherwise identified or reported.
- Establishing an effective and operational anti-doping framework in Russia
A framework where suspected anti-doping violations and related misconduct can be adequately reported, analysed and followed-up. Addressing specifically the Athlete Support Personnel (ASP) issue – ending the ‘Omerta’ and ensuring that athletes can safely tip-off on ASPs who are central to the Russian doping system with serious/deterrence consequences for them – raising ethical standards.
- Structural and regulatory reforms to deter and reduce existing incentives to engage in doping
Proposing criminalizing the distribution and trafficking of prohibited substances under Russian law. Identifying and addressing the different incentives and other factors currently used to incentivise doping conduct in Russia. Revising the contract system with coaches.
- Implementing a robust, transparent and efficient anti-doping testing programme
Preventing doping through deterrence and detection – increasing anti-doping knowledge amongst Russian athletes and coaches through a targeted education programme and improving the quality and increasing transparency of the national testing programme in athletics to enable suitable oversight by the IAAF and WADA
- Ensuring Code compliance going forward
Satisfying WADA and the IAAF that its officials, coaches and athletes act in accordance with the Code against specified criteria, such compliance to be verified by the Inspection Team on an on-going basis over a designated minimum time frame prior to lifting of the provisional suspension or suspension.
IAAF President Sebastian Coe commented: “The establishment of these guiding principles with the approval of the Inspection Team’s independent chair Rune Andersen establish a clear path upon which the verification criteria will be established.
“For the protection of all clean athletes there cannot be any timeframe for ARAF’s return until we are assured all criteria have been fully met and will continue to be met forever,” he added.
Proposed verification criteria based upon the principles outlined above which are neither final nor exhaustive will be presented to the IAAF Council for discussion next week in Monaco (26 Nov) and there will then follow consultation with WADA.
Only once the criteria have been agreed will the terms of reference and the schedule of the IAAF Inspection Team be established.
Discussions will then take place with ARAF to discuss the practical and logistical arrangements of how the inspection team will carry out their work in Russia.
It is planned that the Inspection team mission will commence the verification process no later than 1 January 2016 with a first report back at the earliest to the IAAF Council at their meeting in Cardiff on 27 March 2016.