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The Athletics Integrity Unit (AIU) is investigating suspicious qualifying performance in the run-up to the Tokyo Olympics. They have received 17 referrals from 16 countries, including 31 athletes and five relay teams. David Howman, chairman of the AIU, said in a press release on Thursday:
“The work of the AIU goes far beyond anti-doping. In preparation for the Tokyo Olympics, our team has been busy identifying, analyzing and investigating possible cases of competitive manipulation. World Athletics has refused to recognize a number of questionable qualifying performances. The AIU will continue to investigate these cases to determine whether fraudulent behavior has occurred.”
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 whether fraudulent behavior was involved,” the AIU statement said.
Why the AIU is important for the Olympics
The AIU’s work in managing cases of tampering during competition as part of its broader mission to cover all areas of integrity. In addition to anti-doping, the AIU focuses on match-fixing, age-rigging, illegal betting, bribery and corruption.
The AIU received multiple reports of suspected manipulation of match results to qualify for the Tokyo Olympics. The concerns reported included unreliable photo finish photos, short course measurement, illegal use of pacers, use of unauthorized field instruments and incorrect timings.
“I want to thank everyone who came 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 work leading 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 assist in identify, analyze and investigate any possible instances of competitive manipulation in connection with betting during the Games.
Also read: Tokyo Olympics 2020 Schedule
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