Via RT.com, New York-based sports agent, Andrey Baranov, who recently sparked a worldwide investigation into corruption among the highest ranks of the International Association of Athletics Federations (“IAAF”), now suggests that the investigation’s reach should extend past Russia and into Ethiopia and Kenya.
Baranov submitted a written and signed deposition to the IAAF in April 2014 which detailed bribery and extortion involving executives of the world’s governing body for track and field, but now claims that the investigation’s focus on Russia was unfair. “It is wrong just to be focusing on Russia,” said Russian-born Baranov. He continued, “There should be a similar investigation into countries like Kenya and Ethiopia too. Their top athletes are earning far more than the Russians, yet their levels of testing are very limited.” After Baranov’s complaint was submitted, the World Anti-Doping Agency’s (“WADA”) former president, Dick Pound, returned a 325-page report revealing a systemic, state-sponsored doping culture within Russian athletics.
In response to potential repercussions for his revelation, Baranov admitted he was concerned, stating that “It had to be done for the future.” Baranov’s client, Liliya Shobukhova, who won the London Marathon once and the Chicago Marathon three times, was stripped of her titles in 2014 because her biological passport revealed irregularities consistent with blood doping. In Baranov’s submission to the IAAF, he disclosed that Shobukhova paid the Russian track federation more than $600,000 to avoid a doping suspension so as to allow her to compete in the 2012 Olympic Games. Concerned about the sport, Baranov decided it was his place to divulge such information. According to the French sports newspaper, L’Equipe, the money paid could have been used to pay off an IAAF official to suppress Russian doping positives.