UPDATE: IAAF provisionally suspends Fredericks
WINDHOEK, 17 JUL (NAMPA) – Namibia’s double Olympic silver medallist, Frank Fredericks, was on Monday provisionally suspended as a council member of the International Association of Athletics Federations (IAAF).
The IAAF said in a statement posted on its official website that its decision follows an application by the Athletics Integrity Unit (AIU) to provisionally suspend Fredericks pending an investigation of a potential breach of the IAAF Code of Ethics.
The IAAF added that since the matter was now in the hands of the AIU, the independent body the IAAF has set up to investigate these and other issues, “it is important for all concerned that the IAAF let these investigations take their course”.
In a separate statement which was also posted on the IAAF website, the AIU emphasised that Fredericks enjoys the presumption of innocence until the conclusion of that investigative process and any disciplinary process which may follow depending on the results of the investigation. The investigation will be led by Sir Anthony Hooper, a former judge of the English Court of Appeal and an experienced investigator in the context of sports integrity.
An order for provisional suspension is not an early indication of guilt or innocence and orders for provisional suspension may be sought by the AIU and imposed by the Disciplinary Tribunal on a precautionary basis in cases where the interests of the sport favour the suspension of an IAAF office holder, employee or participant in the sport pending investigation of potential ethical breaches in the sport.
The investigation into Fredericks, who is also the subject of a parallel International Olympic Committee (IOC) ethics investigation, concerns payments received by Fredericks’ company, Yemi Limited, from a company owned and controlled by Papa Massata Diack of Pamodzi Sports Consulting.
The payments were made on or close to the date of the IOC vote awarding the 2016 Olympic Games to Rio de Janeiro. As an IOC member, Fredericks was one of the persons entitled to vote to award the 2016 Olympics.
Fredericks has stated that the money received was proper payments for services rendered which have no connection to the voting process for the award of the 2016 Olympic Games.
Since assuming responsibility for this investigation, the AIU has carefully considered the case, including reviewing the facts and documents leading to the initiation of an IOC Ethics Investigation, as well as certain limited additional information.
Following the allegations against him, Fredericks voluntarily resigned as a member of the IAAF’s Russia Task Force and also withdrew from all his IOC responsibilities.
However, the AIU determined that the interests of the sport required an application to be made for an order to provisionally suspend Fredericks from all his present roles in the sport, including his important duties as an IAAF council member.
“The allegation is a serious one and requires careful investigation and the Athletics Integrity Unit concluded, and the chairman of the Disciplinary Tribunal agreed, that the nature of the allegations and the seniority of Fredericks within the sport required an order for provisional suspension,” the AIU concluded.
In a statement released after he stepped down as a member of the IAAF Russia Task Force, Fredericks said he has had to step down so that the integrity of its work is not questioned due to the allegations made against him in Le Monde – the French newspaper that initially broke the story.
“It is important that the taskforce’s mission is seen as free and fair with no outside influence,” Fredericks said.