Reports: Medallists among suspected Russian cheats

Medal winners from the London Olympic Games are among a list of eight Russian athletes who allegedly escaped drug bans after bribes were paid to world athletics chiefs to allow them to compete, according to a newspaper report.

Former International Association of Athletics Federation (IAAF) president Lamine Diack and its ex-head of anti-doping, Dr Gabriel Dolle, are being investigated by French prosecutors over allegations they received payments on behalf of the athletes.

The Sunday Times says it has obtained a list of the eight names that prosecutors claim should have banned before the 2012 Games in London – including a gold and silver medallist.

Answering allegations that medallists were among the athletes named, a statement on the IAAF’s official website read: “At least three Russian athletes were not found in violation until after the 2012 Games.”

On suggestions that Diack received 1million and Dolle 200,000 to cover up failed doping tests, the IAAF answered: “We have no knowledge of this.”

The IAAF’s headquarters were raided by police earlier this week as part of an investigation over anti-doping rules and regulations, with Diack suspected by French prosecutors of receiving money to defer charges against Russian doping cheats.

It was also confirmed earlier this week that the IAAF Ethics Commission has brought charges against four people – including Diack’s son Papa Massata Diack, and Dolle – for alleged breaches of its Code of Ethics.

Sebastian Coe, who replaced Diack as IAAF president earlier this year, has vowed to continue fighting to restore trust in athletics.

“These are dark days for our sport,” Coe told BBC Radio 5live. “But I’m more determined than ever to rebuild the trust in our sport. However, this is a long road to redemption.”