International Association of Athletics Federations (IAAF) vice-presidential candidate Ahmad al Kamali is reportedly being investigated by the IAAF Ethics Commission for allegedly giving 40 Rolex watches to delegates during his campaign.
According to Spanish newspaper El Pais, al Kamali, President of the United Arab Emirates Athletics Federation and a member of the IAAF's ruling Council, gave the watches to top sporting officials at the recent Confederation of African Athletics (CAA) Congress in Addis Ababa, Ethiopia in an attempt to win their vote.
The delegates in question have the right to vote in the IAAF Congress elections in Beijing in August.
Under IAAF rules, candidates are prohibited from "giving presents or offering donations or gifts or granting advantages or benefits of whatever nature to or at the request of any party who will vote in, or who may otherwise influence, an election".
The source also claims that one African athletics President, who wished to remain anonymous, confirmed to the newspaper that the incident had taken place.
"I heard of this matter and took part in many conversations and debates when I was in Addis," the unnamed President said.
"Some of the delegates were sufficiently responsible to return the watch they had received, or to leave them without opening in the room where they had been left as gifts."
Al Kamali is also the director of the Dubai Marathon, one of the world's richest races as men and women are reportedly given $200,000 (£135,000/€183,000) for winning the event, and the President quoted by El Pais also claims he was offered money and equipment to help organise sporting competitions in his country.
He turned the offer down due to the IAAF regulations.
The IAAF Ethics Commission refused to confirm or deny whether they had received an official complaint on the actions of al Kamali, while the IAAF declined to comment when contacted by insidethegames.
CAA President Hamad Kalkaba Malboum also refused to comment.
Al Kamali has enjoyed a meteoric rise within the African athletics community in recent years, and the Egyptian was elected to the IAAF Council in 2011 after he received more votes than any other candidate.
The development is the latest on a list of problems for athletics, which has become shrouded in allegations of doping and corruption in recent months.
In December, an investigation broadcast on German television claimed that up to 99 per cent of Russian athletes used banned drugs and accused Valentin Balakhnichev, President of the All-Russian Athletics Federation (ARAF) of being involved in a systematic doping scheme.
He subsequently resigned his position following the allegations, and they led outgoing IAAF President Lamine Diack to claim the sport was in "crisis".
Diack's son Massata also stepped down from his marketing consultant following the claims.
Those allegations came before Kenyan Rita Jeptoo, a three-time Boston Marathon winner, was handed a two-year ban after testing positive for a prohibited substance in what was a substantial blow for African athletics.
The IAAF Congress in Beijing takes place from August 18, where either Briton Sebastian Coe or Sergey Bubka of Ukraine will be announced as Diack's successor as IAAF President.
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