Eight qualifying performances for the Tokyo 2020 Olympic Games have been rejected following investigation by the Athletics Integrity Unit (AIU), with the athletes concerned being denied places.

The AIU has received 17 referrals for investigation of suspicious qualifying performances.

The referrals were from 16 countries and included 31 athletes and five relay teams.

Eight qualification performances for the Olympic Games were disqualified as a result of the AIU’s investigations, while a number of other cases have been identified for further investigation to determine if fraudulent conduct was involved.

The AIU received multiple reports of suspected manipulation of competition results in order to seek qualification for Tokyo 2020 and has worked closely with World Athletics in investigating any wrongdoing.

The reported concerns covered unreliable photo-finish pictures, the short measuring of courses, illegal use of pacers, use of unauthorised field instruments and incorrect timings.

AIU chair David Howman said: "The work of the AIU goes far beyond anti-doping.

"In preparation for the Tokyo 2020 Olympic Games, our team has been busy identifying, analysing and investigating potential instances of competition manipulation.

"Thanks to our investigations, World Athletics has refused to recognise several questionable qualifying performances.

"The AIU will continue to investigate these matters to determine if any fraudulent conduct was involved.

"I’d like to thank everyone who has come forward and reported suspicious activity.

"This work has been important in protecting the integrity of the qualification process and the fair allocation of competition places for athletes."

Anyone can anonymously report any form of misconduct in the sport of athletics, including attempts to manipulate competition results, by submitting an online reporting form available on the AIU website.

The AIU has established a working protocol with the International Olympic Committee’s Unit on the Prevention of the Manipulation of Competitions during Tokyo 2020 to help identify, analyse and investigate any potential instance of competition manipulation associated with betting occurring at the Games.

Source: https://www.insidethegames.biz