MONTE CARLO: More problems have tumbled in on the world athletics federation after its ethics commission suspended three senior officials including Nick Davies, former communications director and then close aide to IAAF president Lord Sebastian Coe.

British QC Michael Beloff issued the latest setback for the federation in a statement announcing that the commission had “provisionally suspended from all duties and functions within the IAAF the following members: Nick Davies, Jane Boulter-Davies and Peter -Yves Garnier “.

The suspensions last 180 days pending the results of the investigation undertaken by commission appointee Sir Anthony Hooper. In the meantime the trio are granted the presumption of innocence.

This latest announcement follows the revelations linking the IAAF and it former president Lamine Diack to the Russian dope-test cover-ups.

French prosecutors have placed Diack under formal investigation over allegations of corruption along with former IAAF legal counsel Habib Cissé and former anti-doping head Gabriel Dollé. An international arrest warrant has been issued for Massata Papa Diack, son of Lamine Diack and former marketing consultant to the IAAF.

The background to the latest action follows discovery of an email exchange between Papa Diack Massata and Davies concerning the cover-up and possible ways of mitigating the reputational damage to the IAAF.

The Ethics Commission also noted that Davies had received an undisclosed amount of money in 2013 from Papa Diack Massata and had attempted to “mislead” an investigator. Similar allegtions had been laid against Boulter-Davies, another IAAF employee.

** Dutchman Jan Dijkema has been elected new president of the International Skating Union. The 71-year-old Dijkema succeeds Italy’s Ottavio Cinquanta, who held the job since 1994. Dijkema won on the second ballot against Hungary’s Gyorgy Sallak.

** Kosovo and Gibraltar, afer being admitted to FIFA last month, have been assigned to European groups in the 2018 World Cup qualifiers. Kosovo will join Croatia, Iceland, Ukraine, Turkey and Finland in Group I, and Gibraltar will join Belgium, Bosnia and Herzegovina, Greece, Estonia and Cyprus in Group H.