04/08/2017 Newsnight

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With James O'Brien. Can athletics ever be clean again? Does Kenya face another bloody election? Plus an interview with the mother of a man killed fighting IS.

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COMMENTATOR: He's a one-man world superpower, victory for Mo Farah!


STUDIO: A victory lap tonight for Mo,


but what of the sport As athletics fights


to clean up its act, how confident is the head


of the world anti-doping agency At the moment, without doubt,


the toughest thing that I've ever Also tonight - is Kenya facing


another bloody election? We, as supporters,


will have to fight And this British man died


battling IS alongside His mother joins us to share her


thoughts on his legacy. There were familiar scenes


at London's Olympic Stadium tonight as Sir Mo Farah won another


10,000 metre gold in It's been just five years


since Farah made his name as London, world athletics and British


brilliance combined to create an Olympic Games that ranked among


the most successful in history But since then athletics has been


mired in doping scandals which has seen the Russian team excluded


from international competitions and Mo Farah has never failed a drugs


test. But his coach Alberto Salazar


remains the subject of an investigation by US anti


doping chiefs - though of course Some in the sport are critical of


the speed at which the investigation that could clear them


has been conducted. And what will become of the sport


once Mo and its other big names like Usain Bolt depart


after these games? COMMENTATOR: The women's 1500 metres


gets underway. The London Olympics in 2012 was a triumph in semi-ways


by doping is casting an ever darker shadow over it -- so many wastrels


of this race has been dubbed the dirtiest traceable time, the winner


was previously banned for two years from 2004 on two 2006, she has been


stripped of the gold medal and has been serving a ban and the silver


medallist has also been found guilty of irregularities in her biological


passport. The fifth placed runner was later banned for meldonium use


but had her suspension overturned. In seventh place, an athlete banned


for biological passport abnormalities and in ninth place an


athlete who will be banned for two years for the attended use of a


prohibited substance or method. The Mail on Sunday calculated that of


650 athletes, at track and field finals at London 2012, 87 have had


doping violations. It has increased now to 88, a further 188 have doping


associations, either their coach or agent or doctor is associated or


they have missed or failed a test. The World Championships that started


today was supposed to draw a line under the saga, medals are being


rewarded and Russia is still not here because of its doping


violations. The Russian athletes who are here compete as independents. We


can use some Russian close with the Russian flag colours, they are


strict rules, so we can use any kind of science on your body and in your


hair, with a Russian flag, something even close to this will stop so how


confident should we be? It is possible to have a sport where the


vast majority of people you are watching our clean and I think that


is the case, it is harder for an athlete to cheat and you have got to


take the federations usually, to ban a whole country in Russia is a


serious step to take. People will be looking at the 2017 World


Championships in London with scepticism which is what athletics


deserves given its track record, and there will be dozens of convicted


dopers taking part in the championships, that's a matter of


public record, people who have taken drugs and come back from bands.


Public trust matters. All the athletes you watch running for Great


Britain have been subsidised by the National Lottery which has changed


the face of athletics. If the public lose faith in athletics, it will be


harder to justify lottery spending, and they have got to win medals, as


well, and that will get harder without the likes of Mo Farah and


Jessica Ennis-Hill and Rutherford not jumping. Athletics will face a


challenge as Usain Bolt believes the sport, a paragon of clean living.


The fastest 30 times in that event have been run entirely by dopers


apart from The Times clock by Usain Bolt. The person who has


single-handedly carried the sport, almost, he has transcended the


sport, a global superstar but he won't be there after this year. That


will be a very big void to fill. The passing of a great may show up the


depth of the problems in track and field. Chris Cook, reporting.


Sir Craig Reedie is a few months into his second term


as President of WADA, the world anti-doping agency,


and as such the man ultimately responsible for cleaning


Earlier this evening I button-holed him outside his hotel


Luckily, we also managed to borrow a couple of chairs


I began by asking him how tarnished athletics is now compare to his


career as a badminton player. Athletics certainly suffered


from the revelations in 2015, when the biggest country


in the world was clearly involved in cheating, and secondly


when the International Federation I think they are making progress


and I encourage them to do that, and we work closely with them


as they do that. We have one of our finest athletes,


Mo Farah, running in London under His coach, Alberto


Salazar, won't be here. There are reports, as you know,


of suppression of investigations. So it isn't just the Russians that


leave a slightly sour taste. Well, you can remember


after the Rio games, the discord and trouble caused


by an organisation called the Fancy Bears, who reacted


to what they saw as treatment They were, who immediately of course


found people who had therapeutic use exemptions who happened to come


from Western medal-winning countries Personally, I'm disappointed


in that it has taken too long This has been going on for


about three years now. I think the United States


Anti-Doping Agency would be well served if they reached a decision


sooner rather than later. Can the people lining up


on the starting line at these games be more confident


than they were in Rio, more confident than they were in London,


the clean athletes, can they be confident that they're not lining up


against doped athletes? Athletics here have pre-games tested


any number of athletes. There have been something


like 5,000 different urine There will be another 600


done in competition. So athletes know that,


and it would be foolish for any In addition, they will keep samples


from London for a period So if you're so smart that


you don't get caught now, the chances are that you will be


caught at some date in the future. So I assure you that


everything is being done, That said, I can't sit here and be


complacent in any way. This is an argument that has to go


on on a day-to-day basis. And it would also help if we had


a bit more money to do it. For me, as a fan of athletics,


it's the dope users who pass the tests that are the problem,


not the ones who fail the tests, because the technology


and the effort, the laboratories we read about, the supplements,


the mysterious substances crossing borders in Jiffy bags,


the effort that is put into not failing the dope tests


is where the attention surely needs People need to understand


that this is an ongoing and changing situation,


every minute of every day. We have our own investigations


department and our own But to run both of these,


you need to have large And how you collect that information


is time-consuming and expensive, and when you analyse it,


you act properly on it. When I say act properly,


we are a sports organisation. Sometimes it would help if we had


law enforcement more But I refuse to sit here and say


either that we have no problem, or even worse, from my point


of view, "I'm sorry, I'm so depressed that I'm


not prepared to carry It's like that Greek fella pushing


the rock up the hill and when he got to the top,


it started rolling back down again. It is without doubt the toughest


thing I have tried to do in sport. Success looks like a much,


much reduced number of athletes being caught cheating


by testing positive. We have to be smart


in our own research, in our own understanding,


that we test for the correct substance in the correct athlete


in the correct event, I have a sense that the police,


as in many areas of life, many areas of wrongdoing,


the police, which is you, are playing catch up


with the criminal. Well, I would like to think


we are closer to them than you might think,


James. David Walsh is chief sports writer


for the Sunday Times and was responsible for exposing


doping by the cyclist He has also written


extensively about athletics It is unfortunate that we have to


discuss Mo Farah's swansong in the context of the continuing


investigation, how much does this pollute his legacy potentially? It


doesn't enhance his legacy, that he has worked with Alberto Salazar, a


coach who has a lot of questions to answer at the very least. Both


adamant there has been no wrongdoing. Yes, years, but the


United States anti-doping agency are still investigating Alberto Salazar


and we have testimony from any athletes who worked with him who


were unhappy about his methods. That isn't to say that Mo Farah dopes but


it would be much better for his credibility if he had no connection


with Alberto Salazar. You heard Craig Reedie being interviewed, he


talks a good game, do you think that Wada is fit for purpose? It might be


if it had sufficient funding. Craig Reedie is in his second term and I


have a sense of a man who is only now getting a grip on the problem


that exists. He has had a very unimpressive first term. When this


Russian controversy broke, his initial reaction was to hope that it


would pass without becoming a major controversy. Of course it was going


to become a major controversy because we had outstanding


whistle-blowers in Russia. Stepanov told us what was going on in Russia,


and for the athletes who were competing... Who are competing in


this World Championship in London now, it is significant that there


are not many Russians here, the Russian team is not there, and that


is to athletics credit that they have basically kicked out Russia for


the Rio games and they are still out. Chris Cook's film earlier, that


was astonishing, to see the women's race in which almost everyone was


found to have been in some sort of contravention of the rules. Are you


confident that webby happening in London in the next few days? --


won't be happening. Yes, I am. The IAAF was corrupt at that time and


the people were aiding and abetting doping and some of them were


profiting from doping so we have the most appalling situation. Many


British people will have great memories of London 2012 but much of


what we watched was fraudulent and the legacy has been besmirched by


that. I don't think the IAAF is corrupt today in the way it was then


and I think there have been great improvements and the fact they have


voted to sanction Russia in the way they have. That is to their credit.


Will there be any dopers involved in these games? Of course. I don't


think you can watch any major event in athletics and in some other


sports and not have some dopers but there will be less. One thing we


should all remember, the greatest controversy we have seen in terms of


doping was enacted at the Winter Olympics where the Russian state


conspired to cheat their way to gold medals, what they did was substitute


you're in because that was the only where they could beat the tests for


the not many countries could do that because that involve huge planning


and the involvement of the state police and the former KGB. Many of


those agents were involved, and that isn't going to happen in many other


places, but the reason Russia did that is because the anti-doping


tests do work anti-circumvention MP had to actually substitute -- they


actually had to substitute. They could be far more effective than


they are and the doping problem would be either would say


significantly less if we put enough money into it. Very briefly, with


big stars heading off into the sunset like Hussein Barr, is the


sport heading into the doldrums? -- Usain Bolt. Athletics is losing its


audience, no doubt, and losing Mo Farah and especially Usain Bolt


won't help, but sport survives. Golf is used to worry about what would


happen when Tiger Woods went into decline, that happened, and golf is


still there. Athletics will live long after Mo Farah and Usain Bolt.


Thanks for joining us. The incumbent, President Uhuru


Kenyatta is up against his old rival Raila Odinga, who's trying


for what will be his fourth - and, at 72, possibly his last -


attempt to become president. The polls suggest it's close,


and given Kenya's recent history, how the election is run,


who wins and how the loser takes it, will decide whether the country


descends into violence as it did a decade ago, or becomes a champion


of African democracy. Tensions are running high -


not helped by the brutal abduction, torture and murder this week


of the man in charge This from the BBC's


Africa Correspondent It's not just politicians who bring


rallies to the slums of Nairobi. If anyone gets upset


about the election result, the violence will break out here,


and so they're urging Rachel is a feminist


and an activist in Mathare, one of the biggest


slums in the capital. The march is straddling two wards


with different politics. If Kenyans are told


the election was free and fair, Even in the slums, as much


as they are using words to criminalise us, telling us it's


a hotspot, if they know the election is free


and fair, they cannot disturb. Rallies have been romping


across the country for weeks. This is opposition orange,


and green, and blue and white. The National Super Alliance,


they're called, Nasa, five opposition parties


on one ticket. Raila Odinga is their


presidential candidate, Since then, the Odingas have


always been in opposition. It's his fourth attempt to get


the top job, and at 72, probably his last, and that makes


the stakes even higher. "the driver is drunk


and the conductor is a thief". Drivers and conductors


aside, their alliance Uhuru Kenyatta, son


of Kenya's first president. The big political dynasties


live on more than 50 The success of this


whole ballot depends The Independent Electoral


and Boundaries Commission, or IEBC, In a country where vote-rigging has


been suspected in the past and is expected in the future,


their computerised voting system is the key to free


and fair elections. If it works, fixing the result


will be an awful lot harder The public demonstration went well,


but if the computer system fails, And given what has


happened in the past week, Chris Msando was the acting head


of IT at the Electoral Commission, "The system's safe with me",


he said, but then he disappeared. This time last week,


he left the IEBC building and went He was meeting a 21-year-old


graduate student known as Carol. What happened over the next few


hours is a lot less certain. His Land Rover was seen


driving across Nairobi. At one point, four people


may have been inside, Elsewhere, he was on the phone


looking agitated. First, his car was recovered


on one side of town. Then on the other side of the city,


two bodies were discovered. Both he and the young


graduate, Carol Ngumbu, People jumped to their own


conclusions, and it's put A senior Kenyan lawyer wants


a commission of inquiry for this and other cases


of what he calls Apart from being a chilling effect


on the general populace and even other employees of the electoral


body, it again just highlights how we have, for too long,


left extrajudicial killings Corruption is a huge


part of the problem. This footage was filmed


by citizen journalists. It's common, and just


the tip of the iceberg. The police officer stops,


opens the door and grabs something. John-Allan Namu is an investigative


journalist for Africa Corruption is endemic


in this country. It's taken over very many parts


of government operations. A third of our resources


are believed to be lost It's driven by a lot


of private-sector impunity, Nothing ever gets resolved.


No one ever goes to jail. Ten years ago, terrible


post-election ethnic violence killed more than 1,200 people amid claims


that it was rigged, International Criminal Court charges


against the deputy president and President Kenyatta collapsed


when witnesses died mysteriously. At the last election,


the computer system failed. Rachel's friends in Mathare


are worried it will happen again. We are a bit scared,


especially as women. The way things are going,


we are all scared. He's saying the main


issue we have is She's saying it will be peaceful


as long as it is a free, But if it isn't free,


fair and credible... This is obviously a group


of opposition supporters. We want to live in a peaceful


community, but if it happens by mistake, the Jubilee


government rigs elections, we, he's saying we as Nasa supporters


will have to fight If he loses, but it's a fair


election, what happens then? But if it is 50-50,


we will not agree on that. So if it's really close, there's


more chance of being violence? This is one of the most important


elections in Africa, in one What's significant now


is not who wins, but how In the three years since the birth


of the so-called Islamic State it is believed up to 850 men,


women, boys and girls have left Britain to make what for most of us


would be the unimaginable journey Many are since believed to have been


killed or now find themselves trapped in Raqqa as coalition troops


close in to liberate it. Remarkably, some of those


confronting Isis across the Syrian battlefields


are themselves from Britain. Over the years, dozens have left


these shores as civilians Most join regiments


from the Kurdish YPG army. One young man, Ryan Lock,


was praised this week as a hero by a coroner who heard details


of his death. He shot himself to avoid


capture after being injured in a gunfight last December -


the third Briton Others who have fought have been


arrested on their return to Britain. I'm joined now by Vasilika


Scurfield, the mother of Eric Scurfield, who was killed


in 2015 as he fought with the YPG. I am so sorry for your loss. Why did


Eric, or cost, as the family knew him, why was he so keen to get


involved in a war that in many ways have nothing to do with him? He felt


that since most of the people fighting in Syria for Isis, many of


them were British soldiers or most were from other countries, he felt


that it was his duty to redress that balance. And he felt that Isis was a


threat that if not stopped, would spread. What if Isis had not been


stopped by the Kurds? They might have gone on to Jordan, the Greek


islands, Albania. They were unstoppable at the time and he felt


he had to step up. And I think he was doing his National Service in


the Greek army that he formed -- at the time he formed this ambition.


Actually, he was in the Royal Marines here in the UK. Part of the


reason why he went was disappointment when he was told by


his CEOs that there was no chance of him going into recognise the 10,000


-- rescue the 10,000 Yazidi people in the mountains. He was disgusted.


And of course, the government at the time was keen to offer support to


precisely the sort of militias that he ended up fighting with. They lost


a Parliamentary vote, which makes it all the more remarkable that the


status of fighters like your son is, well, how would you describe it? It


is a sort of legal limbo. It is worse than that. They are often


criminalised when they come back. So these are guys fighting with


coalition forces. They are getting our support from coalition forces.


They are getting treated, if they are lucky enough, in special forces


field hospitals, for example. So they are working closely with


coalition forces and they are being treated as terrorists when they come


back. I understand that we have to question them to check which side


they are fighting for and make sure they have not committed a crime. But


after that, you find some of them are let go and some of them are


criminalised and put on bail, where they have to present themselves


three times a week for six months at a time. Their families are treated


disrespectfully. I know there is a sort of covert network of families,


but you have to be careful City reasons. The first is the Islamic


State's vigilance on computer networks being unknowable. Secondly,


you have to shield your family members' activities from the British


government? It is more about privacy. For a lot of parents, it is


a shock, but it is those things as well. They are soft targets for any


maniac who might want to go after them. And they are at risk from


being treated disrespectfully by the British government. I have no


complaints about the way I was treated, and I don't see why other


parents should not benefit from the same treatment. What would you like


the government to do formally? I think they should be stopped at the


airport when they come in. When they establish from their phones and the


evidence that they were fighting from the YPG, they should as a


minimum just be let go. They don't have a policy across the UK to say


everybody will be treated the same way. Half of them coming and are not


bothered, and half of them are criminalised. It seems to be a lucky


dip. How many British people do you think are out there? It would be a


complete guess. We are told there are up to 200 foreign volunteers


from all countries, 12 Greeks, some Chinese, people from all over


Europe, the USA, Canada, maybe up to 50 Brits? And at least one of them


is a woman. Did you try to stop him going? Of course I did. The whole of


the might of the British military tried to stop him going, but there


was no way we could. He was determined to go. It may be that


every answer is different to this question, but what do they have in


common, do you think, the men and woman that have gone out there?


Courage. And the strength of their convictions. Many thanks.


I should say that we asked the Home Office whether all Britons


who go to fight against Isis were at risk of prosecution.


In a statement they said anyone who returns from the conflict


in Syria or Iraq should expect to be reviewed by the police and that


charges would be considered on a case by case basis.


Before we go, if you're about to head off abroad and fancy


some inspiration for your holiday snaps, why not head


to the University of Greenwich for an exhibition of some


to the Travel Photographer of the Year Awards?


If you can't make it, here's a taste.


# Ever since I put your picture in a frame #.


In-depth investigation and analysis of the stories behind the day's headlines. With James O'Brien.

Can athletics ever be clean again? Does Kenya face another bloody election? Plus an interview with the mother of a man killed fighting IS.