Bribes probe: Sprint legend is suspended

18 July 2017 - 09:01 By Reuters
Frankie Fredericks of Namibia, athletics, during a sports event in South Africa. File photo.
Frankie Fredericks of Namibia, athletics, during a sports event in South Africa. File photo.
Image: Photo by Wessel Oosthuizen/Gallo Images

Former Namibian sprinter and IAAF Council member Frankie Fredericks has been provisionally suspended from athletics pending an investigation into a potential ethics violation, the sport's governing body said yesterday.

Fredericks is being investigated by the athletics integrity unit over payments received from Papa Massata Diack, son of former IAAF president Lamine Diack, on the day Rio won a vote to host the 2016 Olympics.

Earlier this year Fredericks, an International Olympic Committee member, stepped down as head of the team evaluating bids to host the 2024 Olympics and has also removed himself from the IAAF taskforce investigating doping allegations in Russia, after the corruption allegations surfaced.

IAAF disciplinary tribunal chairman Michael J Beloff rejected Fredericks' offer to "use his best judgment" on whether to attend council meetings.

"His suggestion that his participation in IAAF council business should be a matter of his own discretion on a meeting by meeting and issue by issue basis is, in the integrity unit's view, inadequate in the light of the seriousness of the matters, the subject of investigation, and the importance of ensuring and being seen to ensure the utmost standards of probity in the administration of the sport," he said.

The judgment reported that there was a prima facie case into "the possibility that Mr Fredericks received substantial sums of money with the aim and/or effect of affecting his voting in the award of an Olympic host city". 

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