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Top World Athletics Official Steps Down Over Russian Doping Scandal

A leading world athletics official stepped down December 22 while an ethics committee investigates damning e-mails he sent concerning doping by Russian athletes in 2013.

Nick Davies, a top official at the International Association of Athletics Federations (IAAF), said he would temporarily step aside after the French newspaper Le Monde published an e-mail he sent discussing ways to limit the news impact of a series of positive drug tests by Russian athletes only weeks before the 2013 World Championships were held in Moscow.

"What has become apparent today is that I have become the story," Davies said December 22, adding that he will await a ruling on his conduct by the IAAF's Ethics Board.

His 2013 e-mail reportedly discussed what to do to delay disclosure of "Russian 'skeletons' we have still in the cupboard regarding doping."

Weeks after the championships in Moscow, the IAAF announced sanctions against 16 Russian athletes. Russian athletes are currently banned from track and field competition following revelations of widespread, state-sponsored doping.

Davies insisted that the e-mail was merely "brainstorming for a media strategy" and that he had done nothing wrong.

Based on reporting by Reuters, AP, and Le Monde