Coe quits ambassadorial role with Nike

Thu Nov 26, 2015 1:51pm EST
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By Mitch Phillips

MONACO (Reuters) - Sebastian Coe is stepping down from his ambassadorial role with Nike, the IAAF president said on Thursday.

Coe, who leads the ruling body of world athletics, has worked as a paid ambassador for the sportswear firm but faced repeated questions about a potential conflict of interest.

An internal Nike email leaked this week appeared to show him supporting the bid of Eugene, the U.S. city with close links to the company, to host the 2021 world athletics championships.

Coe also announced that CSM, the sports marketing firm he heads, will not tender for any contracts that might lead to allegations of a conflict of interest.

The Briton also said he was stepping down as chair of the British Olympic Association (BOA) after next year's Rio Games.

"I have sought advice from the IAAF's Ethics Committee to review my interests and was told I could retain my positions in Nike and CSM as long as I do not seek to influence any decisions that could influence them," Coe said at a news conference following an IAAF Council meeting.

"I'm grateful for that advice but it is clear that perception and reality have become horribly mangled.

"I've made the following decisions: I've stepped down from my ambassadorial role with Nike which lasted 38 years. The current noise level around it is not good for Nike or the IAAF and is a distraction."   Continued...

President of International Association of Athletics Federations Sebastian Coe speaks at a news conference, in Beijing, August 19, 2015.  REUTERS/Jason Lee