Fredericks suspended from IAAF Council as Rio 2016 vote probe intensifies
Frankie Fredericks, the former Namibian sprinter, has been provisionally suspended from the Council of the IAAF, athletics’ world governing body, over allegations of vote-buying in relation to Rio de Janeiro’s successful bid to host the 2016 Olympic Games.
Michael Beloff, chairman of the IAAF disciplinary tribunal, imposed the suspension following an application by the Athletics Integrity Unit.
Fredericks, a member of the International Olympic Committee, stepped down from the council in March, and also relinquished his role as the chairman of the evaluation commission for the 2024 Olympic Games.
His case remains in the hands of the AIU, and the IAAF said the suspension "does not prejudge the outcome of the investigation," adding that "Mr 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 into Fredericks, who is also the subject of a parallel IOC ethics investigation, concerns payments received by Fredericks’ company, Yemi Limited, from a company owned and controlled by Papa Massata Diack, the disgraced son of former IAAF president Lamine Diack. The payments were made on or close to the date of the IOC vote awarding the 2016 Olympic Games to Rio.
Fredericks has stated that the sums of money received were proper payments for services rendered, which have no connection to the voting process for the award of the 2016 Olympics.
The AIU said in its statement: "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 Mr Fredericks within the sport required an order for provisional suspension. Mr Fredericks has indicated that he intends to contest the provisional suspension at a provisional hearing before a panel of the IAAF Disciplinary Tribunal convened to hear his case."