The Malian president of Fiba, Hamane Niang, has agreed to step aside as an investigation is held into allegations of systemic sexual harassment within the Mali Basketball Federation (FMB).
Concerns were raised on 10 June through the New York Times and Human Rights Watch leading to basketball’s world governing body to open a probe into the allegations.
Fiba’s integrity officer professor Richard McLaren has confirmed that the report is expected to be delivered soon after the Olympic Games.
As well as Niang stepping aside Fiba also suspended three people connected to the FMB from “all Fiba activities while the investigation is conducted: coach Amadou Bamba, coach Oumar Sissoko and official Hario Maiga.”
The statement from Fiba also explained that it is alleged that Niang “knew or should have known about the sexual abuses in the Mali Basketball Federation particularly during his time at the helm of that Federation from 1999 until 2007.”
Niang, who has been FIBA president since 2019, “strongly denies the allegations and has taken the decision to temporarily step aside while the investigation is conducted. He has also offered his full collaboration to the investigation.”
In the meantime Fiba’s first vice-president Sheik Saud Ali Al-Thani will step up and as acting president.
“Fiba stresses the President’s right to the presumption of innocence and will make no further comment pending the outcome of the investigation,” the statement added.
“Fiba has zero-tolerance for all forms of harassment and abuse and extends its heartfelt compassion for victims of such conduct. Fiba is committed to ensuring reports of such behavior are taken seriously and properly investigated.”