The president and general secretary of the Albanian Athletics Federation have been banned for five and four years respectively for manipulating a competition result of long jumper Izmir Smajlaj, the Athletics Integrity Unit said on Wednesday.
Smajlaj was provisionally suspended by the AIU in December along with president Gjegj Ruli and general secretary Nikolin Dionisi for allegedly breaching World Athletics’ Integrity Code of Conduct.
The trio were charged for allegedly giving false information to the global body and the AIU for the result of an event held in Tirana in May 2021.
The AIU handed out bans to the officials on Wednesday but lifted the provisional suspension imposed on Smajlaj.
Smajlaj competed and placed first with a distance of 8.16 metres at the Dita E Kercimeve competition, which earned him a universality spot to compete in last year’s Tokyo Olympics.
The independent AIU said the officials and Smajlaj “conspired together and submitted falsified wind measurement readings relating to the Competition to World Athletics”.
“And when requested for proof of wind measurement equipment being used at the competition, also submitted a falsified photograph to the AIU,” it added.
They were subsequently charged for alleged breaches of rules relating to honesty, maintaining the integrity of competition, failure to report and complicity.
Smajlaj’s suspension was lifted after the tribunal found that “the charges against him were not established as it was not comfortably satisfied that he was knowingly involved in the conspiracy to submit the false information”.
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