International Association of Athletics Federations (IAAF) senior vice-president Sergey Bubka has been cleared of wrongdoing by the Athletics Integrity Unit (AIU) following newspaper reports concerning links of a financial relationship with officials at the centre of doping and corruption scandals.
French newspaper Le Monde reported in September 2017 that Bubka made a payment of $45,000 (£35,000/€39,000) on June 18 in 2009 to New Mills Investments Ltd, a Nevis-based company linked to former IAAF treasurer and ex-Russian Athletics Federation President Valentin Balakhnichev.
The payment was reportedly made a day after a virtually identical amount was transferred from New Mills Investments to Pamodzi Sports, a firm owned by Papa Massata Diack, the son of former IAAF President Lamine Diack.
An investigation was then launched by the AIU into the claims concerning Bubka, a member of the International Olympic Committee (IOC) Executive Board.
Bubka, the 1988 Olympic pole vault gold medallist and six-time world champion, denied wrongdoing.
He insisted the payment was for consultancy work connected to the international expansion of the Pole Vault Stars competition he used to organise annually in Ukrainian city Donetsk.
In a statement released today, the AIU said they had "decided not to take any further action" against the 54-year-old.
A criminal investigation into a company, linked to influential Brazilian businessman Arthur Cesar de Menezes Soares Filho, which paid $1.5 million (£1.2 million/€1.3 million) to Pamodzi Sports in the weeks before Rio de Janeiro was declared host of the 2016 Olympic and Paralympic Games at the IOC Session in Copenhagen on October 2 in 2009, remains ongoing.
Lamine Diack was a voting member of the IOC at the time.
The AIU said it would "continue to monitor any developments in case new evidence arises".
"The AIU has concluded, based on the information currently available to it, that there is no prima facie case of a breach of the applicable IAAF rules by Mr Bubka," the statement read.
"The AIU reached the decision after conducting extensive inquiries over almost a year, including analysis of the relevant criminal files of the French financial prosecutor's office and other information available to the unit."
Bubka, an IOC member since 2008, made the payment on June 18, the same day as an IOC Candidate City Briefing in Lausanne in the 2016 Olympic campaign.
There is, however, no link to the bidding race and no previous evidence that Balaknichev, banned for life by the IAAF over the cover-up of Russian doping cases, has been implicated in allegations linked to Rio 2016 being awarded the Olympics.
Namibia's IOC member Frankie Fredericks has been provisionally suspended by the IAAF and is at the centre of an IOC ethics investigation after receiving funds from Papa Diack during the same period.