MONACO (AP) — The governing body of track and field banned one of its former officials on Tuesday for giving out watches to prospective voters.
Ahmad Al Kamali, the president of the United Arab Emirates track federation, was a World Athletics council member until last year when he was suspended shortly before a vote on whether to make him a vice president.
The WA ethics board banned Al Kamali for six months after he admitted to giving out watches to African track officials during a conference in 2015. He was preparing to run for re-election as a council member later that year.
Al Kamali disputed a claim from former Olympic 5,000-meter champion Said Aouita, who said he had seen expensive Rolex watches and piles of cash in Al Kamali’s suitcase and that his assistant said the watches would be left on the African officials’ beds.
Al Kamali said only watches from a much cheaper brand bearing the UAE track federation logo which “cannot be confused with a gift such as a Rolex” were given out at the conference.
The board ruled that the gifts were still an ethics violation because they were of “more than nominal value” and “not akin to a box of sweets or dates.”
Al Kamali was also fined 5,000 euros ($6,080) and ordered to pay 15,000 euros ($18,200) in costs. He can appeal the ruling to the Court of Arbitration for Sport.
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