UK official: IAAF ethics body looking at '17, '19 worlds

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LONDON (AP) Qatar's bids for the 2017 and 2019 world athletics championships have been referred to the IAAF ethics commission for bribery allegations to be investigated, the head of UK Athletics said on Tuesday.

The 2017 championships were awarded to London, which defeated a rival bid from Doha, Qatar. Doha subsequently beat Barcelona and Eugene, Oregon, in the vote for the 2019 worlds.

''I have had a number of discussions with the IAAF since that program and they have told me that the 2017 and 2019 bids by Doha, Qatar have now been referred to their ethics commission,'' UK Athletics chairman Ed Warner told a British parliamentary committee hearing into the athletics doping scandal.

''I'm delighted at that and so my next conversation is going to be with that ethics commission to lay out all that I heard at the time.''

The IAAF ethics commission said in a statement to The Associated Press that it will be ''considering these matters raised by Ed Warner'' at the committee ''in accordance with the commission's procedures.''

The IAAF said the Qatar federation asked IAAF President Sebastian Coe to refer the 2017 bid to the ethics board.

In November, the IAAF ethics commission suspended the Kenyan athletics leader Isaiah Kiplagat, who was accused of receiving two cars from the Qatar Athletics Federation as ''an apparent gift'' in 2014 and 2015, covering the period of the November 2014 vote for the 2019 worlds. The IAAF ethics board told the AP in November that there was ''no need to commence any additional or distinct procedure'' on Qatar's bid.

The 2017 case will assess allegations made by Warner during a radio interview this month that ''brown envelopes'' were handed to members of the IAAF council before the vote in 2011 for the 2017 worlds. Under questioning by legislators, Warner said he was ''not prepared to say'' who told him about the envelopes.

Warner responded to hearsay about Qatar inducements at the time of the vote by legitimately offering to raise the prize money on offer at the 2017 worlds.

Warner said he put the rumors about brown envelopes ''to the back of my mind'' until the scale of corruption in the IAAF under Lamine Diack's presidency was revealed.

''It seemed incredible to think brown envelopes were being handed out in a hotel suite,'' Warner said. ''You'd have thought you would have been much more subtle than that if you were corrupted.''

Coe, who succeeded Diack in August, told a parliamentary hearing in London in December that he was unsure whether Qatar's successful bid to host the 2019 worlds was clean. Qatar's successful bid to stage the 2022 World Cup has been dogged by allegations of wrongdoing. FIFA has not found evidence that warrants stripping Qatar of football's main event.

Qatar has denied any wrongdoing in any of its sporting bids.

''There is nothing to hide these days, but to go through accusations it's really painful for us,'' Qatar Athletics Federation President Dahlan Al Hamad said last week at a news conference in Doha, alongside Coe.

Warner also told the hearing about plans to implement a strict new eligibility policy for British athletics teams, which UK Athletics' lawyers are yet to approve.

From the world indoor champs in March, Warner wants athletes to sign a contract which says: ''If in future I am ever convicted of a serious doping offence, I am saying here and now I know I will be forfeiting my right ever to be picked for Britain again.''

''Any sensible, clean athlete will have no problem (with that),'' Warner told legislators. ''If they are subsequently banned, then there is no way back for them.''


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