(ATR) Richard McLaren will be spending his summer looking into allegations tied to the world governing bodies of basketball and boxing.
The Canadian, in his role as the independent Integrity Officer for the International Basketball Federation (FIBA), has opened an investigation into allegations of systemic sexual harassment within the Mali Basketball Federation.
FIBA president Hamane Niang has stepped down from his duties during the investigation, FIBA announced on Monday.
Niang "strongly denies the allegations" that he knew or should have known about the sexual abuses while serving as the head of the Mali Basketball Federation from 1999 to 2007. TheNew York Times reports around 12 coaches and officials are alleged to be implicated in cases involving around 100 women players between 1999 and 2011.
FIBA announced on Monday that three Malian individuals have been suspended from all FIBA activities while the investigation is conducted: coach Amadou Bamba, coach Oumar Sissoko and official Hario Maiga.
FIBA said that McLaren’s report is expected to be delivered soon after the Tokyo Olympics conclude in August.
McLaren’s company said on Monday that it also expects to release a report on the first stage of an investigation into the International Boxing Association (AIBA) by the end of August.
McLaren Global Sport Solutions (MGSS) said it has been hired to investigate the judging and refereeing during the Rio 2016 Olympic Games.
After that, it would then look into "the activity of the individuals involved in the management and administration of AIBA to determine if there have been acts of corruption".
"Boxing has a long history of questionable activities. There have been multiple past investigations into the sport that have either not been completed or acted upon. It is time for boxing to turn the page, but it cannot do so without a full accounting of any alleged misconduct," said McLaren, CEO of MGSS.
"Our team will conduct an independent investigation into the questions surrounding corruption or manipulation of sporting results during the Rio Olympic Games, identify the persons responsible and recommend the appropriate course of action."
A whistleblower line will be set up with a guarantee that any individuals who come forward will be kept anonymous in perpetuity. AIBA president Umar Kremlev on Monday said "I encourage everyone in the world of boxing who may have evidence of interest to step forward and share it with McLaren and his team."
"For some time, it has been clear that AIBA could do more in following up on allegations of unfairness. Unfortunately, in order to move to a brighter future, we must now also shine a light on AIBA’s past," added Kremlev.
AIBA on May 26 announced the approval of what it described as a two-phase independent investigation with the first stage focusing primarily on the events of Rio 2016, and second on the conduct of the organization’s previous administrations.
The federation continues to work on a list of problems that caused the IOC to suspend it in June 2019, taking away the right to organize the boxing competition at Tokyo 2020.
These include referees and judges, ethics, doping and governance. Longstanding financial issues were resolved in May when AIBA paid off the outstanding $10 million debt it owed to Azerbaijani company Berkons LLC.
McLaren and his team have been at the forefront of investigating misconduct in sport, including the 2016 report on allegations of state-sponsored doping by the Russian Federation and the 2020 investigation into financial fraud doping irregularities within the International Weightlifting Federation.
Homepage photo: WADA
Written by Gerard Farek
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