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IAAF cancels awards ceremony after Lamine Diack arrested

The IAAF Awards Gala is canceled following the arrest of former president Lamine Diack.

IAAF president Seb Coe and the Principaity of Monaco have agreed to cancel the Nov. 28 IAAF World Athletics Awards Gala after the arrest of former IAAF president Lamine Diack on allegations of accepting bribes to cover up doping charges, the Associated Press reports.

“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,” Coe said.

Diack, 82, was arrested on Sunday and questioned over allegations that he accepted bribes for deferring sanctions against Russian athletes that have tested positive for performance enhancing drugs. On Tuesday, Diack was released on bail and ordered not to leave France as the investigation continues.

The gala annually awards the IAAF Athlete of the Year honors and welcomes past athletes, coaches and agents for a lavish ceremony in Monaco. A smaller and more informal dinner will be held for the athletes, who will still receive their awards, reports French newspaper Le Equipe.

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The first four men nominated for the IAAF Male Athlete of the Year are Jamaican sprints star Usain Bolt, British Olympic and World champion Mo Farah, Kenyan marathoner Eliud Kipchoge and Russian hurdler Sergey Shubenkov. The female nominees are ​Dafne Schippers of the Netherlands, Genzebe Dibaba of Ethiopia, Mare Dibaba of Ethiopia and Zuzana Hejnova of Russia. Five more athletes will be nominated in other respective categories.

- Christopher Chavez