The International Association of Athletics Federations (IAAF) is the international governing body for the sport of athletics. It was founded on 17 July 1912 as the International Amateur Athletics Federation by representatives from 17 national athletics federations at the organization's first congress in Stockholm, Sweden. Since October 1993, it has been headquartered in Monaco.
Beginning in 1982, the IAAF passed several amendments to its rules to allow athletes to receive compensation for participating in international competitions. However, the organization retained the word amateur in its name until its 2001 congress, at which it changed its name to International Association of Athletics Federations.
In 2015, a whistleblower leaked IAAF's blood test records from major competitions. The records revealed that, between 2001 and 2012, athletes with suspicious drug test results won a third of the medals in endurance events at the Olympics and World Championships—a total of 146 medals including 55 golds—but the IAAF caught none of them. After reviewing the results, Robin Parisotto, a scientist and leading "anti-doping" expert, said, "Never have I seen such an alarmingly abnormal set of blood values. So many athletes appear to have doped with impunity, and it is damning that the IAAF appears to have idly sat by and let this happen." Craig Reedie, president of the World Anti-Doping Agency (Wada), said his organisation was "very disturbed by these new allegations ... which will, once again, shake the foundation of clean athletes worldwide", and that its "independent commission will investigate the claims".
Around the same time, the University of Tübingen in Germany claimed that the IAAF suppressed publication of a 2011 report in which "[h]undreds of athletes", as many as a third of the world's top athletes, "admitted violating anti-doping rules".
On 1 November 2015, former IAAF president Lamine Diack was arrested in France and is under investigation on suspicion of corruption and money laundering. Diack allegedly accepted "$1.2 million from the Russian athletics federation to cover up the positive doping tests of at least six Russian athletes in 2011."
In November 2015, Wada published its report, which found "systemic failures" in the IAAF had prevented an "effective" anti-doping programme and concluded that Russia should be banned from competing in international competitions because of its athletes' test results.
The process to found the IAAF was started at a meeting in Stockholm, Sweden on July 17 1912 soon after the completion of the 1912 Summer Olympics in that city. Here 27 representatives from 17 national federations agreed to meet at a congress in Germany the following year overseen by Sigfrid Edström who was to become the fledgling organisation's first president. The congress that started on August 20 1913 in Berlin is when the foundation of the IAAF was formally completed.
^Reprint (page 226) at Google Books UK (books.google.co.uk). The 1912 Stockholm Olympics: Essays on the Competitions, the People, the City, eds. Leif Yttergren and Hans Bolling, Jefferson NC and London: McFarland & Company, Inc., Publishers, 2012. ISBN 978-0-7864-7131-7.
Translated from the Swedish: Stockholmsolympiaden 1912 (Stockholm: Stockholmia, 2012).