World Athletics refuses to recognize questionable performances to qualify for the Tokyo Olympics

The Athletics Integrity Unit (AIU) is investigating suspicious qualifying performances in the build up to the Tokyo Olympics. They have received 17 referrals from 16 countries, including 31 athletes and five relay teams. David Howman, Chairperson of the AIU, said the following in a press release on Thursday:

“The work of the AIU goes far beyond anti-doping. In preparation for the Tokyo Olympic Games, our team has been busy identifying, analysing and investigating potential instances of competition manipulation. World Athletics has refused to recognise several questionable qualifying performances. The AIU will continue to investigate these matters to determine if any fraudulent conduct was involved,”

AIU is an independent body of World Athletics and manages all integrity issues. After investigation, eight qualifying performances for the Tokyo Olympics were not recognized by World Athletics.

“The number of cases has been identified for further investigation to determine if fraudulent conduct was involved,” said AIU statement.

Why the AIU is important for Olympics

The AIU’s work in managing instances of manipulation during competition as part of its wider mission to cover all areas of integrity. The AIU, apart from anti-doping, focuses on manipulation of competition results, age manipulation, illegal betting, bribery and corruption.

The AIU received multiple reports of suspected manipulation of competition results in order to seek qualification for the Tokyo Olympics. The reported concerns covered unreliable photo-finish pictures, the short measuring of courses, illegal use of pacers, use of unauthorized field instruments and incorrect timings, among other things.

“I’d like to thank everyone who has come forward and reported suspicious activity. This work has been important in protecting the integrity of the qualification process and the fair allocation of competition places for athletes,” added David.

In addition to the work in the lead up to the Tokyo Olympics, the AIU has established a working protocol with the International Olympic Committee’s Unit for Prevention of Manipulation of Competitions (OM-PMC) during the Tokyo 2020 Olympic Games to help identify, analyze and investigate any potential instance of competition manipulation associated with betting occurring at the Games.

Also Read: Tokyo Olympics 2020 Schedule