Namibian Frank Fredericks, former multiple Olympic and world championship medallist, has stepped down temporarily from the International Association of Athletics Federations (IAAF) Council, while he is under investigation for possible ethics violations.
IAAF president, Sebastian Coe, was in Kampala, Uganda, to attend the World Cross Country Championships on Sunday and confirmed that his colleague would step aside.
Coe said: “I have spoken to him regularly since this issue came out and he decided to step away from all this as he needs time to sort all this. He also indicated that he will not attend the Council meeting in London.”
The head of the world body also stated that Fredericks would stay away from all IAAF-affiliated events, including Sunday’s cross country showpiece.
At the beginning of March, Fredericks stepped down from an IAAF taskforce, which is coordinating the readmission of the suspended Russian Athletics Federation (RusAF).
The allegations against Fredericks in Le Monde, a French daily, concern a payment by the son of disgraced fomer IAAF president, Lamine Diack, to Fredericks, on the same day in 2009 that Rio was awarded the 2016 Olympics. This was revealed after investigations into alleged widespread corruption in world athletics.
The American Internal Revenue Service (IRS) have produced evidence of Papa Diack making a transfer of $300,000 to a Seychelle company, Yemi Limited in 2009. Fredericks is linked to the company.
Fredericks denied any wrongdoing at the time, but still saw fit to refer himself to the IOC Ethics Commission.
He stated that the funds were supposed to be used for various international championships, marketing and the African Athletics Championships.
Papa Diack and his father, Lamine, have both either been charged or implicated in multiple counts of corruption, from covering up international doping to questionable activities surrounding the award of hosting rights to International Olympic Committee (IOC) and IAAF events.
Fredericks had hoped to retain his place on the IAAF Council, yet after influential remarks by Steve Arne Hansen, the head of European Athletics, he has decided to withdraw completely from any IAAF activity.
Hansen had said that any IAAF officials, under investigation in relation to a breach of ethics, should immediately step aside.