IAAF cancels Monaco gala amid corruption case
MONACO (AP) The IAAF canceled its annual awards gala Friday amid the corruption allegations rocking track and field's governing body.
The IAAF ethics commission also confirmed that the son of former IAAF President Lamine Diack was among four people facing sanctions in connection with helping a Russian marathon runner avoid a doping ban before the 2012 London Olympics.
The glitzy World Athletics Gala, which honors the world's top male and female athletes of the year, had been scheduled to be held in Monaco on Nov. 28.
''Given the cloud that hangs over our association, this is clearly not the time for the global athletics family to be gathering in celebration of our sport,'' IAAF President Sebastian Coe said.
The decision comes after Coe's predecessor, Diack, was placed under criminal investigation in France this week on charges of corruption and money laundering. He is suspected of taking more than 1 million euros ($1.1 million) to cover up positive doping tests.
Diack's legal adviser at the IAAF, Habib Cisse, and Gabriel Dolle, a doctor who managed the IAAF's anti-doping program at the IAAF, were also detained and charged with corruption.
Coe said the annual honors will still be awarded and will be announced on the Internet and social media.
''The IAAF will seek a suitable occasion in the future for the presentation of these awards to be made to the winners,'' he said in a statement.
Among the athletes in contention for this year's awards were sprinters Usain Bolt and Dafne Schippers.
The World Anti-Doping Agency is scheduled to announce the findings Monday of its investigation into allegations of widespread doping in Russian track and field.
The IAAF ethics commission said Friday that Diack's son, Papa Massata Diack, and three others were under investigation in connection with the case of Russian marathoner Liliya Shobukhova.
Also under investigation are Dolle; former Russian athletics federation head Valentin Balakhnichev; and Alexei Melnikov, former head coach of Russia's race-walking and long-distance running programs.
Last December, German broadcaster ARD alleged that Shobukhova paid 450,000 euros ($520,000) to Russian officials, who threatened her with a doping ban before the London Games.
The program alleged that when Shobukhova was initially banned for two years in 2014, her husband received a 300,000 euro ($345,000) refund payment linked to Balakhnichev. Then treasurer at the IAAF, he stepped down within days of the program being broadcast.
The ethics commission said a hearing on the case would be held in London from Dec. 16-18.
The panel said an investigation was also ongoing ''in respect of an additional person,'' who was not identified. The commission said it would ''pay close regard'' to any new information on the case from WADA or any other source.
The IAAF said Coe has been working on a proposal to set up an independent body to run the federation's anti-doping and ''integrity'' programs. It said an international firm of accountants was hired to review the IAAF's operational and financial controls.
The proposals will be presented for approval at the IAAF council meeting in Monaco from Nov. 26-27.