Athletics in 'difficult times' says Coe

Mon Dec 8, 2014 11:54am EST
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By Ossian Shine

MONACO (Reuters) - Athletics is in "very, very difficult times" as it investigates allegations of widespread doping and cover ups in Russia, Sebastian Coe said on Monday.

"You have to say that the scope and scale of these allegations takes it beyond simply a competitor deciding to step beyond the moral boundary," said Coe, who last week launched his campaign to become next president of the sport's governing body the IAAF.

"This is not in every country of the world, there are 213 federations. But you do have to say a disproportionate amount of the reputational damage is in a relatively small number of countries, and I think we have to recognize this."

Coe, a double Olympic gold medalist, said he had watched the second part of the German TV documentary which has made the allegations.

The program by ARD-TV alleges doping and corruption which extends beyond Russia and the documentary implicates the IAAF in covering up the problem.

"They are very serious allegations," Coe, an IAAF vice-president, told reporters at the International Olympic Committee's Session in Monaco.

"The very fact that the allegations are in the public domain means that they are serious. So, we have to be very clear that this is a very, very difficult time for our sport."

Transcripts of the program had been sent to the IAAF Council, the body’s ethics committee which is investigating the claims, to the IOC and the World Anti-Doping Agency, Coe said.   Continued...