On Friday, the two protagonists of Albanian athletics, President Gjergj Ruli and athlete Izmir Smajlaj, appeared near the offices of the Sport Resolution sports court in Nice, France, in the first session of the appeal against the accusations made against them for manipulating the result, as a result of which requires a 4 to 8 year suspension from the Athletics Integrity Unit.
In a session which lasted 7 hours, Smajlaj and Ruli were represented by their lawyers Riomina Zaho and Ermir Beta in front of the leaders of the Integrity Unit which was the accusing party and in the presence of three arbitrators who listened and questioned the parties during this confrontation .
Top Channel has contacted them and has learned to clarify part of the testimonies of the two accused Albanian athletics.
“My only task as an athlete is to maximize my performance, fight for my performance, participate in competitions and I have no responsibility regarding the procedure followed by the federation or the Olympic committee in the application it makes for national activities. What is communicated in the communication forms with the international federation is not my duty and even less my responsibility. And to my knowledge there is no fact there is no correspondence no message. “Regarding the photo, I have always stated that it was a training photo and I have never stated that it is a competition photo,” said senior Ismir Smalaj.
Sposrtisit Smajlaj seems more out of this story, given that the accusation raised for irregularities in the organization of her race, where it is about a statement about the wind gauge that was not actually there, has nothing to do with the competitor.
While the former general secretary Nikolin Dionisi has taken the blame for this event, who has accepted the mistake he made by denying the cooperation with the president Gjergj Rulli, at the same time the coach of Izimri Smajlaj, and even less with the sportsman.
“At the core of this is not the accusation made by the integrity unit. Until today, the federation has not had a wind meter provided by the world federation and the IAAF knows this very well. This lack cannot be served today to the detriment of the president of the federation, a tool that they have never provided, but have always borrowed from Kosovo or North Macedonia. The World Federation was aware of this fact”, said Gjergj Ruli, former president of the Albanian Athletics Federation.
There will also be a closing hearing as the entire case was not exhausted due to overtime on Friday. This hearing will take place online on Tuesday, and from that day the court will have 30 days to reach a decision. Meanwhile, at the moment, the only good news that comes from this confrontation is that Albania, starting from this event, has finally secured from the world federation an anemometer of the necessary parameters for athletics competitions.