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ATHLETICS

AIU Charges Albanian Athletics Officials and Athlete for results manipulation

The Athletics Integrity Unit, AIU has charged the Albanian Athletics Federation’s President, Gjegj Ruli; its General Secretary, Nikolin Dionisi; and an athlete, Izmir Smajlaj, for alleged breaches of the World Athletics’ Integrity Code of Conduct.

The suspension followed a a year-long investigation relating to the submission to World Athletics of a competition result for Albanian long jumper, Smajlaj, which contributed to him securing a universality place to participate in the Tokyo 2020 Olympic Games.

Their charges, according to a press statement by the AIU on its website ‘stem from a series of alleged actions following the Dita E Kërcimeve Competition held
on 8 May 2021 in Tirana, Albania, in which Smajlaj competed and placed first with a distance of 8.16
metres.’

It is alleged that false information was submitted to World Athletics and the AIU in support of this competition result.

‘The AIU’s mandate is to ensure clean and fair competition, and to hold anyone who may have breached the Integrity Code of Conduct accountable for their actions, including high-ranking officials,’ said AIU Head Brett Clothier.

‘Competition manipulation is a serious threat to the integrity of athletics and the AIU is committed to protecting our sport from it.’

All three are provisionally suspended until their cases are resolved.

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