Demonising Justin Gatlin
13th September 2015
The International Association of Athletics Federations (IAAF) Ethics Commission asked Sebastian Coe to sign an undertaking regarding conflicts of interest before he ended his relationship with Nike, it emerged today. ‘Attached to this statement is a copy of the undertaking which was given by the President of the IAAF to the Ethics Commission after the President consulted the Ethics Commission on the issue of any personal conflicts of interest’, read a statement issued today by the IAAF Ethics Commission, reproduced below. ‘The Ethics Commission appreciates that the President has since exceeded the strict requirements of this undertaking by severing his ties with Nike Inc.’.
On 26 November, Coe ended his relationship with Nike, stating that the ‘current noise level around this ambassadorial role was not good for the IAAF nor Nike’. Coe has been coming under increasing pressure over his relationship wth the sportswear manufacturer. Last week, a BBC investigation uncovered emails which claim that Coe had lobbied former IAAF President Lamine Diack with support for the US city of Eugene’s bid to host the 2021 IAAF World Championships.
The US city – where Nike was founded – was awarded the event in April this year without a bidding process, angering the Swedish Athletics Federation, as the city of Gothenburg was putting together a bid. Coe, who replaced Diack in August, has reportedly told Gothenburg that he will investigate whether there was any wrongdoing over the awarding of the event to the Oregon city. Diack is currently under investigation by Interpol over allegations that he accepted bribes in return for covering up Russian doping, following his arrest by French police at the start of this month.
Coe is due to appear before the Culture, Media and Sport Select Committee at 2:15pm tomorrow, as part of its ongoing inquiry into blood doping in athletics. Whether he signed the IAAF declaration regarding conflicts of interest is likely to form part of the questioning.
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