IAAF looking at Doha bids for 2017 and 2019 worlds

UK Athletics chairman Ed Warner claims the IAAF are looking into the bids made by Doha for the 2017 and 2019 World Championships.

Doha was beaten to the award of the 2017 event by London, but is due to stage the championships two years later after beating off competition from Barcelona and Eugene – which will serve as host in 2021.

Previously, Warner had claimed during a radio interview that the IAAF had been handed “brown envelopes” prior to the 2011 vote for the 2017 games.

Warner was reluctant to expand on those allegations at a British parliamentary committee hearing on Tuesday, but did say the IAAF had informed him the Doha bids were being looked into.

“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 Qatar, Doha have now been referred to their ethics commission,” he said.

“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.

“It seemed incredible to think brown envelopes were being handed out in a hotel suite.

“You’d have thought you would have been much more subtle than that if you were corrupted.”

In November, a report published by an independent commission established by the World Anti-Doping Agency made allegations of state-sponsored doping in Russia, which led the IAAF to suspend the nation from competition.

It remains to be seen whether the punishment will be lifted in time for the Olympic Games, which begin in Rio de Janeiro in August this year, and Warner hopes the ban remains in place.

“Do I think that [the athletics team from] Russia should be back in their team for Rio? No I don’t, not at all,” Warner added.

“The benefits of long-term use of performance-enhancing drugs exist for a very long time – for years – it’s one of the arguments for very long bans.

“So if Russia puts new systems in place and they’re allowed back in and athletes are still benefiting from years of abuse, that will be unfair against athletes lining up against them.

“I was relatively early last spring in calling for Russia to be suspended. The great disappointment is they weren’t suspended before the world championships last summer.

“When rumours were swirling last summer Russia were keen to talk to UK about how to manage anti-doping. They didn’t as it all blew up, but we’d happily talk to them about how we educate our athletes.”

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