MUNICH (AP):Track and field’s governing body was corrupted from the inside by a “powerful rogue group” led by its president, and they conspired to extort athletes and allow doping Russians to continue competing, a World Anti-Doping Agency (WADA) probe reported yesterday.Other IAAF leaders were at fault, too, the WADA panel’s damning report said. They must have known of the nepotism that allowed Lamine Diack to turn the International Association of Athletics Federations into a personal fiefdom during his 16-year reign as president, it said.”It is increasingly clear that far more IAAF staff knew about the problems than has currently been acknowledged,” said the report, written by former WADA president Dick Pound and presented at a news conference in Munich.key questionA key question raised by the report is whether alleged corruption under Diack went beyond extorting doped athletes and infected other areas of IAAF business. WADA’s investigators called for a detailed follow-up probe of all world championships awarded by the ruling body for 2009-19, due to evidence they found of possible wrongdoing. That included an indication that Diack, a former IOC member, was prepared to sell his vote in the 2020 Olympic hosting contest won by Tokyo in exchange for sponsorship of IAAF events.The report made further uncomfortable reading for Sebastian Coe, the British middle-distance running great who took over from Diack in August. Coe was in the audience as Pound sifted through the grim findings and asserted that the IAAF remains an organisation in denial.”The corruption was embedded in the organisation. It cannot be ignored or dismissed as attributable to the odd renegade acting on its own,” the report said.Coe is not accused of corrupt wrongdoing. But, as an IAAF vice-president under Diack, he was part of its Council, its oversight body, that took a hammering from the investigators’ report. The Council “could not have been unaware of the extent of doping” and the breaking of anti-doping rules and “could not have been unaware of the level of nepotism” under Diack, it said.With a “close inner circle” including two of his sons, Papa Massata and Khalil, and his personal legal counsel, Habib Cisse, Diack led an “informal illegitimate” government that took over the handling of Russian doping cases, opening the door for athletes to then be blackmailed, the report said.Cisse, the lawyer, called the investigation “unfair”. Speaking to The Associated Press, he said the commission never questioned him or allowed him to contest any of its findings before publication.Lamine Diack was taken into custody by French authorities in November on corruption and money-laundering charges.A contrite Coe later thanked Pound for the hard-hitting findings.”The whole sorry saga is about cover-up,” Coe said. The WADA probe’s findings, he added, will help the IAAF with the “very complex, deeply painful process” of recovering.
Two-time national champions Waterhouse FC are in a must-win situation when they face-off against Portmore United on match-day 31 in the Red Stripe Premier League (RSPL) at Juici Park,Clarendon, tomorrow, starting at 3:30 p.m.Waterhouse are sitting in the cellar position in the 12-team league on 28 points from 30 games and find themselves in a tense fight to avoid relegation.With three games remaining in the preliminary stage, Portmore United lead on 57 points, followed by Montego Bay United (56) and defending champions Arnett Gardens (54) as the teams battling for the $1 million incentive awarded to the team that ends on most points.Portmore will be looking for maximum points against Waterhouse in order to continue their impressive run. On the other hand, Waterhouse’s season is on the line, so spectators could be in for a good game.”It is going to be a tough one, but we are up to the challenge on Sunday,” coach of Waterhouse Anthony Patrick said during the RSPL’s weekly press conference last Thursday at Red Stripe.”We have to stay disciplined. We are very confident as a team and training has been going well,” Patrick disclosed.Meanwhile, manager of Portmore United Clive Marshall says his team’s confidence his high following a sweep of Montego Bay United.”We needed back our confidence and it is coming at the right time. We prefer to have this level of confidence going to this stage,” Marshall said.Looking ahead to tomorrow’s game, Marshall added that: “We are fully aware that all games will be tough because teams have different objectives at this stage.”
NEW YORK (CMM):As part of ongoing preparations for the annual Penn Relays, Team Jamaica Bickle (TJB) recently launched its 2016 season at a private reception held at The Jamaica Pegasus hotel in Kingston last Monday.A 20-member team travelled to the island to the annual ISSA/GraceKennedy Boys and Girls’ Athletics Championships, which took place from March 15-19 at the National Stadium.Minister of Education, Youth and Information Ruel Reid spoke of his admiration for the organisation, and wished for its continued success.Stephen Drummond, a special guest of TJB, presented a cheque for US$10,000 to the organisation and announced a major financial boost by his law firm, Drummond & Squillace, PLLC, to Herbert Morrison (of which he’s an alumnus) to provide free lunch for one year to the entire student body.Dervan Malcolm, a host on Power 106 FM and the extremely popular ‘Diaspora Live’ programme, was presented with the TJB Award for using that platform to give the diaspora a greater voice.Now in its 22nd year, TJB has over the years formed numerous strategic partnerships to support not only Jamaican athletes, but the schools from which many ofthem hail.Support for athletes at the annual Penn Relays Carnival, held at the University of Pennsylvania in Philadelphia, includes meals, transportation, booking and coordinating hotel accommodation and chiropractic care.Having had the distinction of being the first Jamaican/Caribbean sponsor at the Penn Relays, TJB opened the doors and, consequently, the very lucrative Diaspora and mainstream markets to mega brands such as Grace Foods (now title sponsor), Jamaica Tourist Board, VMBS, LIME, Digicel, Jamaica National, Western Union/GKRS Money Services, Caribbean Food Delights, Golden Krust, Tower Isles and others, who now participate or have participated in the three-day carnival, gaining exposure to the over 115,000 spectators on hand and millions more through the NBC Saturday national broadcast.This year, the organisation welcomed on board Philadelphia International Medicine, which will provide two sports medicine physicians to assist with the care of the athletes at the Penn Relays on Saturday, April 30.The Penn Relays will be held on the campus of the University of Pennsylvania, Philadelphia, from April 28-30.