FILE PHOTOS: Athletics – Diamond League – Pontaise Stadium, Lausanne, Switzerland – July 5, 2018 Gabrielle Thomas from the US celebrates the 200m victory REUTERS Women / Denis Balibouse
(Reuters) – American speed runner Gabrielle Thomas said on Friday she hoped to be released from accusations by the Athletics Integrity Unit (AIU) for failing to provide herself for an anti-doping test.
23-year-old Deajah Stevens and a fellow American on the previous day were temporarily suspended by AIU for allegedly losing three tests in a 12-month period, a violation of anti-doping rules.
“I am sure that at least one of these tests has been invalid and that I will be completely removed,” Thomas, a two-time 200 million winner in the Lausanne Diamond League, said in a statement available to Reuters by his agent.
“Telephone tracking data and many witnesses will conclusively show that I am in the exact location that I made at my place and that doping control officers failed to find me and failed to follow the proper protocol,” Thomas added.
“Athletes have very high standards and doping control organizations should have the same high standards.”
Stevens, who reached the 2016 Rio Olympics final 200 meters high, could not be reached for comment.
AIU also suspended Alex Korio Oloitiptip from Kenya, who took part in the INEOS challenge 1:59 last year which made compatriot Eliud Kipchoge become the first person to run a marathon in less than two hours.
The three athletes could face a two-year ban.
AIU also said on Friday that Mikel Kiprotich Mutai from Kenya, who won the Hong Kong marathon in 2016, was temporarily suspended for failing a test for the prohibited substance, norandrosterone.
Reporting by Gene Cherry and Julien Pretot; Editing by Ken Ferris and Christian Radnedge
President of Paris Saint-Germain, Nasser al-Khelaifi will be tried in Switzerland in September on charges of being involved in providing holiday villas to FIFA officials associated with the World Cup broadcasting agreement.
The Swiss federal criminal court said on Tuesday the case would begin on September 14.
The court registered eight days in September to hear the case against Al-Khelaifi, former FIFA top official Jerome Valcke and other unidentified broadcast executives.
Al-Khelaifi, who runs the Doha-based broadcaster BeIN Sports Group, was indicted in February for inciting Valcke to commit aggravated criminal mismanagement.
The three-year investigation center on Valcke could use luxury villas on the Italian island of Sardinia for free rent in 2014 and 2015. At that time, Valcke had influence over FIFA broadcast agreements, including the extension of beIN’s Middle Eastern rights for 2026 and 2030 World Cups.
Lawyers for Al-Khelaifi said criminal complaints had been filed on his behalf because confidential information about the case had been leaked.
“Criminal investigations into alleged breaches of official secrecy have been opened up and assigned to external prosecutors,” his lawyer said in a statement.
During the Swiss investigation, Al-Khelaifi was elected as a member of the UEFA executive committee. He continued to attend meetings when he was suspected.
Al-Khelaifi is a former professional tennis player and close friend of the ruling Emir in Qatar. He became an important player in world sports and broadcasting as Qatar’s influence grew after being named the host of the World Cup.
Al-Khelaifi has been running French champion PSG for eight years, overseeing the purchase of star players Neymar and Kylian Mbappe.
BeIN was created from Al Jazeera Sports and collects a portfolio of soccer rights including the UEFA Champions League and FIFA World Cup. Middle East rights for the 2018 and 2022 World Cups were bought immediately after winning FIFA’s host election in December 2010.
BeIN has long said it has paid full market value for the rights of 2026-2030, which FIFA has granted without an open tender process.
Swiss prosecutors accused Al-Khelaifi of arranging for Valcke to use the villa for 18 months in the upscale Porto Cervo without paying rent of up to 1.8 million euros ($ 1.94 million).
Valcke was charged in February with a number of aggravated criminal mismanagement charges and falsification of documents.
The former French TV presenter, who is undergoing a 10-year ban by FIFA, was also charged with bribery in negotiating separate World Cup rights with the third person who was prosecuted.
Swiss prosecutors believe Valcke received a bribe worth 1.25 million euros (£ 1.09 million) to direct World Cup rights towards broadcasting favored in Italy and Greece.
Prosecutors face a second attempt by Al-Khelaifi’s lawyer to ask them to resign from the case. Previous attempts were dismissed by federal judges in Bellinzona where the trial was scheduled for trial.
“Impartiality, politeness and credibility of the Swiss Attorney General’s Office have been thrown into the big question,” the Qatari lawyer said.
Swiss Attorney General, Michael Lauber, was disciplined last month for failing to tell the truth about a secret meeting with current FIFA president Gianni Infantino in 2017 of a wider investigation into alleged corruption in football. This includes at least 25 criminal proceedings.
Lauber has around 24,000 Swiss francs (£ 19,8,000) out of nearly 300,000 Swiss francs (£ 247,000) minus his annual salary. He was released last year from involvement in a FIFA case by a Bellinzona court.