We face long road to redemption, says IAAF chief Coe

Sun Nov 8, 2015 10:06am EST
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By Gene Cherry

(Reuters) - The head of world athletics Sebastian Coe says he faces a long battle to rebuild trust in his battered sport and has stepped up reform efforts after the latest allegations of bribery, extortion and doping cover-ups.

Briton Coe, who was elected president of the International Association of Athletics Federations (IAAF) in August on a manifesto promising reform, spoke of his "shock, anger and sadness" when French authorities this week placed his long-serving predecessor Lamine Diack under formal investigation on suspicion of corruption and money laundering.

"My job is very simple now and there is no ambiguity about it. It is to rebuild trust in our sport," Coe told Reuters in a telephone interview on Sunday.

"We should not kid ourselves. It is going to be a long road. The day after I got elected as president we started the process of reforming. In the light of the allegations on Monday I have advanced that process and will be taking a package of reforms to the council in two weeks and I expect to get those through.

"But it will be a long road to redemption."

Senegalese Diack, 82 is alleged to have received more than one million euros ($1.1 million) in bribes in 2011 to cover up positive doping tests of Russian athletes.


President of the International Association of Athletics Federations (IAAF) Sebastian Coe of Britain watches the men's 800m Masters final during the 15th IAAF World Championships at the National Stadium in Beijing, China, August 29, 2015.        REUTERS/Damir Sagolj