Coe says trust may take more than four years to return

Sun Jan 17, 2016 8:50am EST
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LONDON (Reuters) - Sebastian Coe, the head of athletics' crisis-hit governing body, says trust in the sport may not return until "way beyond" his four-year term as president of the IAAF.

An independent commission of the World Anti-Doping Agency (WADA) said in the second part of a damning report on Thursday that "corruption was embedded" at the International Association of Athletics Federations.

The report, whose first part was published in November, said Coe's predecessor, Lamine Diack, ran a clique that covered up organized doping and blackmailed athletes while senior officials looked the other way.

"Trust is not going to come over night, it is not as if you make five changes and trust will follow in two weeks' time," Coe, who came out from the report relatively unscathed, told the BBC on Sunday.

"It may be the case that trust does not return until way beyond my term in office."

The WADA report's co-author Dick Pound said he thought Coe was the best man to reform the sport.

The Briton, a double Olympic 1500 meters champion who was elected president in August, said he took some comfort that the report found that the IAAF's systems were not chronically broken and that officials were not "asleep on the job".

He said he understood that people would be skeptical that the IAAF's council, of which he had been a member since 2003, did not know about doping cover-ups, and added that his own focus had been "limited" due to his other commitments.

"For 10 or 11 years, I was extremely busy in bidding or delivering a London Games," he said. "I didn't have the advantage of having a single focus on athletics...   Continued...

Sebastian Coe, IAAF's President, waits for a news conference by the World Anti-Doping Agency's (WADA) former president, Dick Pound, who heads the commission into corruption and doping in athletics, in Unterschleissheim near Munich, Germany, January 14, 2016. REUTERS/Michael Dalder