SONJA NIKCEVIC / AIPS – LAUSANNE: Herewith the timeline of allegations, investigations, denials, admissions and revelations over the Russian doping cover-up scandal:
Dec 3: German broadcaster ARD and journalist Hajo Seppelt air Top-secret doping: How Russia makes its winners, revealing allegations of systematic state-wide doping in Russia.
Dec 11: WADA launches an Independent Commission led by its former president Dick Pound to investigate ARD’s allegations of Russian doping. In quick succession, IAAF president Lamine Diack’s son Papa Massata Diack steps down as an IAAF consultant, Russian athletics head Valentin Balakhnichev quits as IAAF treasurer and the IAAF’s anti-doping director Gabriel Dolle also steps down.
Feb 17: Valentin Balakhnichev also steps down from his role as president of the All-Russia Athletics Federation (formerly ARAF, now RusAF).
Aug 01: ARD and Hajo Seppelt air second documentary Doping – Top Secret: The Shadowy World of Athletics with new allegations of “extraordinary” levels of doping among Russian and Kenyan athletes, based on leaked details of 12,000 blood tests from 5,000 competitors.
Aug 2: WADA announces an independent commission investigation will take into account the latest allegations.
Aug 19: Lord Sebastian Coe is elected to succeed Lamine Diack as IAAF president
Nov 04: French police charge former IAAF president Lamine Diack with corruption on money laundering, conspiracy and suspicion of accepting bribes of up to more than 1 million euros to cover up doping cases. Diack’s legal advisor Habib Cisse and former IAAF anti-doping director Gabriel Dolle also charged with corruption.
Nov 06: IAAF opens disciplinary proceedings against Lamine Diack’s son and former IAAF consultant Papa Massata Diack. Proceedings are also opened against former RusAF chief Valentin Balakhnichev, former chief coach of Russia’s long distance walkers and runners Alexei Melnikov, and Gabrielle Dolle.
Nov 09: WADA’s Independent Commission delivers its first report in Geneva, confirming Russia’s implication in systematic state-sponsored, systemic doping, corruption and manipulation of the anti-doping processes. The IAAF gives Russian Athletics until November 13 to respond.
Nov 13: The IAAF Council provisionally suspends the All-Russia Athletic Federation (RusAF), barring all Russian athletes from international competition. A total of 22 eligible Council members voted in favour of the suspension, one voted against. Russia’s council member was not eligible to vote.
Nov 17: IAAF announces an inspection team (IAAF Taskforce) headed by former WADA director Rune Andersen set to assess the progress of the All-Russia Athletics Federation.
Nov 18: WADA suspends Russian Anti-Doping Agency (RUSADA) with immediate effect after declaring it non-complaint with the anti-doping code.
Nov 19: IAAF announces principles upon which the All-Russia Athletic Federation Verification Criteria are to be based.
Nov 26: The All-Russia Athletics Federation accepts a full suspension from the IAAF without requesting a hearing, insists it will cooperate with IAAF Taskforce and officials and implement changes in drug-testing system.
Dec 11: IAAF announces the full terms of reference for the Taskforce and Verification Criteria for the Russian Athletics Federation in collaboration with WADA. IAAF president Coe: “Russia must demonstrate verifiable change across a range of criteria and satisfy our taskforce that those criteria will be met permanently.”
Dec 22: IAAF deputy secretary general Nick Davies steps down pending an investigation from the IAAF’s Ethics Commission over leaked email and accusations of covering up Russian doping allegations ahead of the 2013 World Championships in Moscow. Davies denies any wrongdoing . . . First meeting between the IAAF Taskforce and Russia’s Interim Coordination Committee takes place in Brussels where the date is set the date for the Taskforce’s first visit to Russia.
Jan 05: IAAF president Coe sets out a 10-point “road map” to restore trust in athletics. Highlights two main problem areas: the governing body and in the sport itself, “the consequence of which has been a breakdown of trust in athletics”
Jan 07: Papa Massata Diack, Valentin Balakhnichev and Alexei Melnikov, former senior coach for Russian endurance athletes are banned for life by the IAAF’s Ethics Commission on accusations of blackmailing athletes and covering up positive doping samples. The IAAF’s former anti-doping director Gabriel Dolle receives a five-year ban.
Jan 11: IAAF Taskforce made its first visit to Russia.
Jan 14: WADA’s Independent Commission publishes its second report, states that IAAF Council “could not have been unaware” of the scope of the doping problem in athletics.
March 06: ARD airs the third part of its documentary on Russian doping entitled Russia’s Red Herrings.
Mar 11: The IAAF Taskforce presents its report about the verification process to the IAAF Council, who agreed with their recommendation that there was significant work still to be done by RUSAF to satisfy the Reinstatement Conditions. The IAAF extends its suspension of the All-Russia Athletics Federation (RusAF) . . . To give RusAF a further opportunity to satisfy the Reinstatement Conditions ahead of the European Championships in Amsterdam and the Olympic Games in Rio, the IAAF Council schedules an extraordinary meeting for June 17.
May 12: Former head of Russia’s anti-doping laboratory, Grigory Rodchenkov, reveals to the New York Times an alleged systematic doping campaign from the 2014 Sochi Winter Olympics, with the direct involvement of the Russian Sports Ministry and secret service.
Jun 08: German broadcaster ARD airs fourth documentary programme The Secret World of Doping: Showdown for Russia, claims that banned Russian coaches are still working athletes.
Jun 09: IAAF announces that the Taskforce will follow up claims from the latest ARD program “as a matter of urgency.”
Jun 17: In Vienna, IAAF Taskforce announce that the Russian Athletics Federation (RusAF) had not met the necessary reinstatement conditions, citing a “he deep-seated culture of tolerance for doping”. The IAAF Council extend their suspension on RusAF, preventing its athletes from competing in the European Championships in Amsterdam and the Olympic Games in Rio. IAAF leave small window open for individual athletes “who can clearly and convincingly show that they are not tainted by the Russian system” to apply for permission to compete in international competitions as neutral athletes.
Jun 21: At the Olympic Summit in Lausanne, President Thomas Bach confirms the IOC’s support of the suspension on the Russian Athletics Federation. Triggers discussion on whether possible individual athletes will compete under Russian flag or neutral flag.
Jul 01: The IAAF Doping Review Board announce that doping whistleblower Yuliya Stepanova will be allowed to compete in international competitions as a neutral athlete, stating “exceptional eligibility”.
Jul 03: The European Athletics Association announce Yuliya Stepanova will compete under the European Athletics flag in the first round of the 800m race at the European Athletics Championships in Amsterdam on July 6.
Jul 18: The independent McLaren report reveals evidence beyond reasonable doubt of ‘state-dictated’ Russian doping and sample manipulation during the 2014 Sochi Olympic Games. WADA recommends that the International Olympic Committee decline entries for Rio 2016 for all Russian athletes. IOC announces it will “explore legal options” of blanket ban on all Russian athletes.
Jul 21: The Court of Arbitration for Sport (CAS) rejects the appeal of 68 Russian track and field athletes seeking to overturn the ban imposed by the IAAF. International Federations, including the 30 implicated in the McLaren Report hold key meeting to discuss situation of Russian athletes.
** AIPS is the international sports journalists’ association with 10,000 members worldwide. More information: www.AIPSmedia.com
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