BERLIN (Reuters) - Germany’s athletics chief on Thursday said his country is likely to have paid a price for its tough anti-doping stance and recent doping revelations on German television as it missed out on an IAAF council seat after 20 years.
Clemens Prokop said he was disappointed the DLV, the world’s biggest national athletics federation by membership, did not get voted onto the council of the world athletics ruling body on Wednesday when Briton Olympic champion Sebastian Coe was elected as its new president.
“I don’t know exactly why but I have three reasons,” Prokop told ZDF Television, speaking from Beijing, where the world athletics championships will take place.
With over 850,000 members in over 7,700 affiliated clubs, DLV is the biggest national athletics body, far ahead of even the United States track and field federation (USATF) which has registered members of about 100,000 Americans.
Prokop had been campaigning to succeed fellow countryman Helmut Digel on the council but got just 45 votes in the second round of voting. Retiring Digel had been an IAAF Council member since 1995.
“I did not offer any gifts like some candidates did and I am proud of that, secondly there was a reform of anti-doping in my manifesto and thirdly the (recent) coverage of doping in German media and I am proud to be living in a country with a free media landscape,” Prokop said.
Earlier this month, reports by Germany’s ARD Television and Britain’s Sunday Times newspaper alleged that hundreds of suspect doping tests were not properly addressed by the IAAF.
“I only know the rumors but I saw that some candidates were liberal with presents,” he said when asked what kind of presents other candidates had allegedly given out.
“Some delegates also said they did not think it was great that Germany wanted to define ethical measures for others.”
Coe beat former Ukrainian Olympic champion Sergey Bubka by 115 votes to 92 to get elected as Senegalese Lamine Diack’s successor at the top of the IAAF.
Prokop also said the participation of athletes who had been banned for doping but now were cleared to compete again was “morally questionable”.
There are several such athletes in Beijing, including 100-metre title contender American Justin Gatlin, who has been banned for anti-doping rule violations twice in his career.
“Formally, according to the rules they can compete and courts have cleared them after the end of their bans to do so. Morally, however, it is questionable,” he said.
Reporting by Karolos Grohmann; editing by Sudipto Ganguly