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Volume 10 No. 25
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BBC Dismisses Gabby Logan 'Bullying' Claims After Heated Interview With IAAF Doctor

The BBC "defended" sports presenter Gabby Logan over claims of "bullying" after a "heated interview" with IAAF Medical Officer Dr. Pam Venning following Isaac Makwala's "controversial disqualification" from the men's 400m final at the World Athletics Championships, according to Evan Bartlett of the London INDEPENDENT. Makwala was banned from competing "after complaining of a stomach bug amid an outbreak of the highly infectious norovirus." The runner and the Botswanan federation "subsequently hit out at the IAAF, claiming he had not been properly assessed and felt well enough to run and accused the governing body of unfair treatment." When presented with these claims by Logan, Venning said, "I have to trust my doctors. My role is to ensure the healthcare of all the athletes here and it's a very infectious and very virulent disease." Viewers of the BBC’s athletics coverage "felt Logan’s line of questioning overstepped the mark," however, with people accusing the presenter of “bullying,” “hectoring” and being “disrespectful” to her interviewee. But the corporation defended Logan in a subsequent statement, explaining that there were “important questions” to be answered (INDEPENDENT, 8/10).

FORMAL ACTION: In London, Ben Bloom reported senior IAAF figures are "considering their options after they were left furious by the BBC’s dressing down of a London 2017 medical expert." Venning joined Logan and pundits Michael Johnson, Denise Lewis and Paula Radcliffe. The IAAF is "so upset at Venning's treatment during the 15-minute segment that they are seriously considering taking formal action against the broadcaster." Venning repeatedly stated that letting Makwala race would “risk many more athletes not competing” due to the “very infectious and virulent” nature of the virus. Not content with Venning’s explanations, the athletes-turned-pundits "took it in turns to fire questions at her" (TELEGRAPH, 8/9).