No alternative to Coe for IAAF presidency: Hansen

Tue Jan 26, 2016 9:44am EST
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By Karolos Grohmann

BERLIN (Reuters) - World athletics chief Sebastian Coe is the right man to lead the sport out of its doping and corruption crisis and he has the support of all the European federations, European Athletics president Svein Arne Hansen said.

The British former Olympic 1,500 meters champion was elected head of the IAAF last year as the scandal hit the sport following reports by German broadcaster ARD and the Sunday Times newspaper.

"He is the duly elected. I see no alternative to him," Hansen told Reuters on Tuesday.

"Seb is honest and a man of integrity. He has the full support, as far as I know, from all 51 (European) federations."

European federations were by no means overwhelmingly in support of Coe in the presidential vote with many backing his opponent Sergey Bubka, who secured 92 votes to Coe's 115.

An independent commission for the World Anti-Doping Agency (WADA) revealed widespread, state-sponsored doping in Russia in the first part of a report late last year.

Earlier this month, the commission released the second part which accused the IAAF of having "embedded corruption" at the very top of the organization under former president Lamine Diack.

Coe has also had to face questions about resignation after having spent seven years as IAAF Vice President under Diack but he has denied any knowledge of his president's alleged activities.   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