In the first 12 months of operation, the Athletics Integrity Unit (AIU) has investigated, instigated and implemented 120 disciplinary proceedings across the sport, releasing today the details of 109 of those cases.
The information released today follows the introduction of a new public disclosure policy by the Athletics Integrity Unit to protect the integrity and reputation of the sport of athletics by prioritising transparency with regards to its operations and handling of cases.
The policy explains when and how the Athletics Integrity Unit will publicly disclose the existence and progress of cases arising under its jurisdiction.
Central to the policy is the decision to publish details of cases through five key phases of the disciplinary process:
1. Provisional suspensions
2. Cases pending a hearing at first instance
3. First instance decisions
4. Appeals from first instance decisions
5. Appeal decisions
Previously, the Athletics Integrity Unit only disclosed cases after their final determination (once all appeal rights had been exhausted). The implementation of this policy follows an application made by the Athletics Integrity Unit to the relevant data protection authority in Monaco in January 2018 which was approved in May.
From today, the Athletics Integrity Unit web site will be updated with the relevant details of each case so that the public can track the flow of cases through the relevant phases of the disciplinary process. Updates will be announced on the Athletics Integrity Unit Twitter account. Hearing decisions will also be published. Cases will be removed once they are no longer operative (for example, when a period of ineligibility is completed).
“Transparency and integrity go hand in hand,” said AIU Chair David Howman. “The Athletics Integrity Unit believes that the transparency measures unveiled today signal best practice in sport and will help instil greater public confidence in the integrity of athletics and the operations of the AIU.”
It is important to note that, as a general rule, the Athletics Integrity Unit will not make any further comment on on-going cases other than the basic details that are published on the website.
Summary of cases
Under the new policy, the Athletics Integrity Unit today reveals the details of 109 disciplinary proceedings, from a total of 120 disciplinary proceedings that have come under its direct jurisdiction since April 2017 (11 of the cases have been excluded because suspensions have already been served).
The total number of cases relate to 103 elite level international athletes (collectively the winners of 85 medals at the Olympics and World Championships), 14 other athletes competing internationally and four officials. All but two of the cases relate to doping.
There are currently 24 persons provisionally suspended from the sport and 27 pending first instance prosecutions. Since April 2017 there have been 81 concluded first instance cases, with seven concluded appeals. The final and binding outcomes of many of the concluded cases have been previously published, but today both pending cases and the most recently concluded cases are also disclosed along with the written decisions of the Court of Arbitration for Sport and the IAAF Disciplinary Tribunal.
In terms of doping, only six of the published cases involve ‘specified substances’, with 111 cases involving serious doping substances or behaviours.
While the current case mix heavily favours doping cases, it is expected that more and more non-doping cases will arise given the transfer of jurisdiction over such cases from the IAAF Ethics Board and the emerging investigation activities of the unit.
“We are only at the beginning of our mission to restore the reputation of athletics and there is a lot more work to be done,” said Head of the Athletics Integrity Unit Brett Clothier. “The current and recent caseload reflects the challenge we face as a sport, but also the fact we are willing to take on that challenge and drive cheats out of athletics.”