AIU Publishes 2021 Annual Report

AIU Publishes 2021 Annual Report

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Nandom 24 Aug. AH – The Athletics Integrity Unit has published its annual report for the 2021 season.

“DURING THE PAST 12 MONTHS THE AIU CONTINUED TO ADAPT TO THE NEEDS OF THE ATHLETICS COMMUNITY, LEAVING NO STONE UNTURNED IN THE ONGOING FIGHT FOR FAIR SPORT.” DAVID HOWMAN BOARD CHAIRMAN OF THE ATHLETICS INTEGRITY UNIT

The COVID-19 pandemic continued to have a significant impact on world sport in 2021. The highlight of another difficult year was the conclusion of a safe and successful Olympic Games in Tokyo, which gave hard-working and dedicated athletes a chance to shine. I believe that the AIU played its part by enforcing the rules without fear or favour to promote a level playing field for athletes at the Games. Given the uncertainty caused by the pandemic, the AIU
reduced its planned expenditure by approximately 10% in 2021.

Although a temporary measure, this was a very significant challenge. We re-aligned our priorities without compromising our core objectives by reducing our workforce where possible and putting on hold some projects that could be postponed, whilst also expediting digital transformation across the range of our activities – case management, intelligence and education.

During the past 12 months the AIU continued to adapt to the needs of the athletics community, leaving no stone unturned in the ongoing fight for fair sport. The primary objective for 2021 was protecting the integrity of the athletics events at the Tokyo Olympic Games. In the lead-up to the Games, we resolved several important
anti-doping cases.

The sanctions imposed on Christian Coleman (USA), Shelby Houlihan (USA), Danil Lysenko (RUS), Brianna McNeal (USA), Salwa Eid Naser (BRN), Blessing Okagbare (NGR) and others show that irrespective of their stature, the participants in this sport will be held accountable.

The rulings provide compelling illustrations of how an effective anti-doping programme, combined with a strong investigation capacity, operates in practice. While it is disappointing whenever top athletes breach the rules, these decisions have brought much credit to the sport of athletics, protected the integrity of the sport at the Olympic Games and sent a strong message to clean athletes that everyone is held accountable to the same integrity standards.

In addition to the individual cases, in the lead-up to Tokyo, the AIU also strictly enforced the anti-doping obligations placed on ‘Category A’ Federations (those deemed to be at the highest doping risk) under the World Athletics Anti-Doping Rules.

For the year 2021, the seven identified ‘Category A’ National Federations were: Belarus, Bahrain, Ethiopia, Kenya, Morocco,
Nigeria, and Ukraine.

At the recommendation of the AIU, the rule governing National Federation Anti-Doping Obligations, came into force in January 2019. Under this rule, National Federations are accountable for ensuring appropriate anti-doping measures are in place in their respective jurisdictions and minimum out-of-competition testing requirements are met for athletes representing them at major championships.

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By Athleticshour

Sekyere Richard has had a 10-year involvement in the sport of athletics. He holds a Degree in Electrical and Electronics Engineering. Sekyere has experienced the sport as a middle/distance athlete, coach, and now journalist and blogger. Sekyere has published several articles on athletics from Ghanaian Athletics to World Athletics. He currently owns and manages the content and the marketing development of Athletics Hour. "I am passionate about sports, love writing and interviewing, traveling, and meeting new athletes and coaches. I like to expose the hidden talents in the youth and I am always in search of talents across Ghana". I have volunteered in one of the biggest ultra-marathons in the world "Elton Ultra Marathon in Russia. Covered many races in Ghana including ECOWAS CAA Region II Championship and multiple road and track races in Ghana. In 2021, he launched the "Better Ghana Athletics Agenda", which will help support the race organisers, athletes and coaches in all directions.

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