Turkish Olympic gold medalist in bribe scandal
ISTANBULTurkish Olympic gold medalist Aslı Çakır Alptekin was offered to bribe two sons of International Association of Athletics Federations (IAAF) former president Lamine Diack to whitewash her positive doping test in late 2012, according to a second report by the World Anti-Doping Agency’s (WADA) independent commission report revealed Jan. 14, reporting many other serious accusations about the sports’ former boss.
“Papa Massata Diack [PMD] and Khalil Diack [KD] breached the IAAF disciplinary code in approaching the Turkish athlete Alptekin to extort money. They also committed fraud by representing themselves as being able to cover up an ABP [Athlete Biological Passport] rule violation,” the report read.
The athlete and her husband and coach, İhsan Alptekin, requested a meeting with the two Diack brothers. Two representatives from her sports club, Istanbul’s Üsküdar Belediyespor, met with Papa Massat Diack in Monaco during Nov. 13-17, 2012, the report said.
“At the meeting PMD initially asked for 650,000 euros but by the end of the day had reduced the amount to 350,000 euros. Alptekin’s representatives said they could not pay and left the meeting,” it said.
It was also added that Papa Massat Diack later visited Istanbul and the parties agreed on 100,000 euros to 250,000 euros in bribes. At the meeting, Aslı Çakır Alptekin made a partial payment of 35,000 euros in cash, said the report.
In January 2013, the IAAF charged the athlete with an anti-doping violation on the basis of her biological passport. She was cleared by the Turkish Athletic Federation’s (TAF) disciplinary board but that decision was later challenged by the IAAF, which took the case to the Court of Arbitration for Sport (CAS).
The CAS decided to strip her off gold medals she won at the London Olympics and 2012 European Championships for doping and suspended her from the games for eight years. She had also been asked to return her medals, scores, points and monetary rewards she had gained since 2010 upon a decision by TAF.
However, she refused to return 2.5 million Turkish Liras worth of gold she was awarded.
The report has already shaken the sport, with Germany’s athletics chief calling for an extraordinary meeting of the IAAF.
WADA’s independent commission said on Jan. 14 former chief Diack ran a clique that covered up organized doping and blackmailed athletes while senior officials looked the other way.
“The allegations of corruption against the leadership of the IAAF are so damning, and have shaken the credibility of the world federation to such an extent, that a sign of awakening must be an extraordinary membership meeting,” said German athletics chief Clemens Prokop in a statement on Jan. 15.
The head of the United States Anti-Doping Agency (USADA) also announced that it believes Russian track and field athletes should be barred from competing in the Olympics, saying there was not enough time to rebuild the country’s tarnished drug-testing regime, the New York Times reported Jan. 14.
USADA chief executive Travis Tygart said Russia had taken no meaningful steps to put its house in order after being accused of running a state-sponsored doping program in a bombshell World Anti-Doping Agency (WADA) report last year.