Prezelj replaces Fredericks on IAAF taskforce


Rozle Prezelj has replaced Frankie Fredericks on the IAAF taskforce charged with coordinating the process of readmitting the suspended Russian Athletics Federation (RusAF). 

Fredericks has stepped aside in the wake of claims of impropriety, published by Le Monde, regarding the awarding of the 2016 Olympic Games to Rio de Janeiro. 

The Namibian former sprinter has strenuously denied any wrongdoing regarding a payment received by a company he was linked to at the time of the vote to determine the location of the Games, which took place in 2009.

"The payment has nothing whatsoever to do with the Olympic Games," Fredericks, who insisted the payment in question was for services rendered in a marketing programme and other promotional activities relating to the development of athletics in Africa, told Le Monde.

"I was not an IAAF board member at the time, but an IAAF ambassador, and did not breach any regulation or rule of ethics."

In a statement released by the IAAF on Monday, Fredericks said: "I have decided to step aside from the taskforce so that the integrity of its work is not questioned due to the allegations made against me in Le Monde. It is important that the taskforce's mission is seen as free and fair with no outside influence."

The IAAF suspended Russia as a member in November 2015 following revelations of a state-sponsored doping program tainting the recent results of the country's athletes, prompting the exclusion of Russian track and field competitors from last year's Games.

RusAF, the successor to the disbanded All-Russia Athletic Federation, is seeking readmission in November, meaning its members will also miss the Athletics World Championships in London in August.

"The IAAF Taskforce's work is of utmost importance in rebuilding confidence in Russia, whose national system has failed the aspirations of clean athletes and the integrity of competition," IAAF president Sebastian Coe said in a statement.

"Their coordination with RusAF and the monitoring of its acceptance of and adherence to the verification criteria and reinstatement conditions is crucial as we work to return athletes to international competition in a safe environment for all."