Coe says IAAF must restore sport's trust and integrity

Mon Aug 24, 2015 11:34am EDT
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BEIJING Aug 24 (Reuters) - Sebastian Coe wants the public to "fall in love again with athletics" and one of his priorities as the new IAAF president will be to restore the sport's trust and integrity, he said on Monday.

The IAAF has been in crisis since data from thousands of blood samples was leaked to two media organizations earlier this month.

"All the things I want really to get stuck in to, in the first hundred days actually, all that can only be predicated on two immutable principles of trust and integrity," Coe told the BBC while attending the world championships.

The double Olympic 1,500 meters champion added he must banish the notion all leading athletes are using performance-enhancing drugs.

"We've got to kill the perception that somehow the IAAF has been sitting on its hands, or is in some way complicit, in not doing enough," said Coe of the sport's governing body.

"I've been on the [IAAF] Council since 2003...we have driven high-profile cheats out of the sport and we've paid a high price for doing that.

"In 2005 we were a sport that still had the prescience to start collecting samples knowing one day the technology would emerge and we could go back 10 years, as we have done recently, and pull people out from world championship-winning positions."

MEDIA COVERAGE   Continued...

Newly elected President of International Association of Athletics Federations Sebastian Coe listens to a question at a news conference in Beijing, August 19, 2015. REUTERS/Jason Lee