David Howman is the chairman of the AIU. Photo: Reuters/Denis Balibouse

BERLIN – The newly established Athletics Integrity Unit (AIU) has started operating, with former World Anti-Doping Agency (WADA) director general David Howman as chairman of its board, the ruling body IAAF said in a statement on Wednesday.

The IAAF said the AIU started its work on Monday, and its president Sebastian Coe named Howman a perfect choice, saying he was "delighted that we have attracted someone of the calibre and experience of David Howman," who held the WADA job until 2016.

The AIU not only manages drug testing procedures but also deals with corruption and fixing of events as the IAAF aims to restore its credibility in the wake of corruption within its former leadership and doping affairs such as that around suspended IAAF member Russia.

"The AIU is all about the athlete. It is our responsibility to create the right framework for everyone to succeed," Coe said.

The AIU is an important part of the reform process the IAAF is undergoing since Coe took over as president from Lamine Diack who is at the centre of a corruption investigation by French authorities.