Coe's silence not golden amid latest doping crisis

Fri Nov 6, 2015 8:20am EST
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By Mitch Phillips

LONDON (Reuters) - Sebastian Coe has long been one of the most outspoken critics of doping in athletics yet the newly-elected president of the sport's governing body has remained silent this week in the face of potentially its most damning drugs scandal yet.

Coe, in the top IAAF job for less than three months, is facing his sport's second major doping controversy in the period, the most recent of which was labeled "worse than FIFA" by his former British athletics team mate Daley Thompson.

Coe's predecessor Lamine Diack and the IAAF's former doping chief Gabriel Dolle are under investigation over allegations that they accepted massive bribes to cover up positive doping tests.

While the world reels in the face of yet another shocking indictment of sports maladministration, however, Coe has yet to utter a word on the matter.

Despite repeated attempts by Reuters and others asking Coe to comment, he has declined.

A coincidence of timing meant that an interview he gave to Britain's Daily Telegraph appeared on Thursday, a day after the news of the Diack investigation was released by French authorities.

"The crowds have to know that what they are watching is genuine. Parents have got to know that they are encouraging their children to go into a sport where they will not be harmed," Coe said. "We will not shy away from this."

One of the four "pillars" of his presidential election manifesto was: "Ensuring integrity and trust in everything we do".   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