Seven Member Federations have been placed on the new Competition Manipulation Watch List following an investigation of suspicious competition results conducted by the Athletics Integrity Unit (AIU).

The World Athletics Council approved the introduction of a Competition Manipulation Watch List at its meeting in Oregon in July, in response to an AIU investigation prompted by 17 reports of suspicious competition results during the qualification period for the 2021 Olympic Games.

The World Athletics Competition Department will work with Member Federations who are placed on the Watch List to improve and reform their competition procedures.

Their position on the Watch List will be kept under review by the Council with the aim of those Member Federations being able to demonstrate that they should no longer remain on the Watch List. All seven federations have already engaged positively with World Athletics in that regard.

The following Member Federations have been placed on the Competition Manipulation Watch List:

Albania
Armenia
Georgia
Kyrgyzstan
Moldova
Turkey
Uzbekistan

Please note that this decision reflects the high degree of risk of results manipulation within the Member Federation’s territory and not the conduct of individual officials or specific cases. Any conduct-related matters will be referred to the AIU for investigation.

World Athletics will not recognise results achieved at competitions hosted by these Federations, except for the following:

  • Official international or area championships
  • Competitions which form part of the following international competition structures:
    Diamond League
    Continental Tour
    World Indoor Tour
    World Race Walking Tour
    World Combined Events Tour
    World Cross Country Tour
    World Athletics Label Road Races
  • National championships, provided certain conditions are fulfilled and subject to World Athletics approval.

World Athletics reserves the right to appoint up to three International Technical Officials to ensure these competitions are conducted appropriately, at the expense of the Member Federation.

These conditions apply to the above Member Federations from today (23).

World Athletics President Sebastian Coe said: “The integrity of our sport is our highest priority at World Athletics. Without it, we don’t have a sport. That is why we established the independent AIU, to identify and address all threats to integrity. I would like to thank the AIU for their continued hard work to protect our sport. Maintaining integrity requires eternal vigilance and this is a timely reminder that all our Member Federations must be equally committed to upholding the principles of fair competition.”

Four medals reallocated from historic age manipulation cases

World Athletics has also taken action to annul the results of 11 athletes from World Athletics Series events between 2001 and 2013 due to age manipulation.

These historic cases were referred to World Athletics by the Athletics Integrity Unit – the independent integrity body for the sport – following its investigations into the birthdates of these competitors. This has resulted in the concerned athletes being stripped of results, and in some cases, medals being reallocated.

Nine of the athletes have been identified as overage at the time of the championships in which they competed, and two athletes have been identified as underage.

These investigations have led to the reallocation of medals in the following events: the men’s 110m hurdles at the 2002 World Junior Championships (Shi Dongpeng of China disqualified, Shamar Sands of The Bahamas awarded the silver medal and Richard Phillips of Jamaica awarded the bronze medal); the men’s long jump at the 2003 World Youth Championships (Saudi Arabia’s Ahmed Nezar H. Al-Sharfa disqualified and Andrejs Maskancevs of Latvia awarded the bronze medal); and the men’s medley relay at the 2005 World Youth Championships (Saudi Arabia disqualified and South Africa awarded the bronze medal).

This is the full list of results which have been annulled:

  • Shi Dongpeng, CHN (overage): 2002 World Junior Championships 110m hurdles (silver).
  • Awet Nftalem Kibrab, ERI (overage): 2013 World Youth Championships 3000m (5th).
  • Aberu Kebede, ETH (overage): 2007 World Cross Country Championships 6km (16th).
  • Mulu Seboka, ETH (underage): 2005 World Championships marathon (48th).
  • Lhoussaine Dhame, MAR (overage): 2002 World Junior Cross Country Championships (29th), 2003 World Junior Cross Country Championships (18th).
  • Ali Ahmad S. Al-Amri, KSA (overage): 2006 World Junior Championships 3000m (10th).
  • Sultan Mubarak Al-Dawoodi, KSA (overage): 2001 World Youth Championships discus (5th), 2002 World Junior Championships discus (15qb), 2004 World Junior Championships discus (9th).
  • Sultan Abdulmajeed Al-Hebshi, KSA (overage): 2001 World Youth Championships shot put (12th).
  • Ismail Al-Sabani, KSA (overage): 2005 World Youth Championships 800m (7th h6) and medley relay (bronze), 2008 World Junior Championships 400m (8th s2) and 4x400m (6th h2).
  • Ahmed Nezar H. Al-Sharfa, KSA (overage): 2003 World Youth Championships long jump (bronze), 2006 World Junior Championships long jump (18th q).
  • Taher Belkorchi, MAR (underage): 2007 World Youth Championships 1500m (6th), 2008 World Junior Championships 1500m (6th).
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World Athletics thanks those Member Federations involved for their co-operation with the AIU’s investigations and is not proposing to take any further action.

Commenting on these issues, the Chairman of the AIU David Howman said: “Today’s announcements demonstrate that World Athletics and the Athletics Integrity Unit are committed to protecting the sport from all kinds of integrity threats. The Competition Manipulation Watch List is an important protective measure to support honest and hardworking athletes who may otherwise be robbed of their rightful place in major events. The AIU is currently investigating several specific allegations of competition manipulation relating to qualification for the Olympic Games Tokyo 2020. I thank World Athletics for taking action on historical age manipulation cases, based on evidence provided by the AIU. The rightful medallists have finally been acknowledged, and I’m sure this is very meaningful to them. While this step has corrected some historic wrongs, age manipulation continues to be a concern in athletics, and the AIU is actively investigating more recent allegations of this nature.”

World Athletics