IAAF rejects new BBC claims over Coe

Thu Jun 16, 2016 3:15pm EDT
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By Mitch Phillips

(Reuters) - Athletics' governing body the IAAF has rejected claims by the BBC that its president Sebastian Coe misled a British government probe into doping and that he was helped in his presidential campaign by the son of his predecessor in the position.

The BBC's Panorama program had said Coe was aware of the detailed allegations of corruption within the IAAF before they became public and did not disclose it when he sat before a British Parliamentary Committee.

The program also claimed Coe had been guided in his presidential campaign by former IAAF marketing official Papa Massata Diack, son of former president Lamine Diack, both of whom are subject to a corruption investigation by French prosecutors.

"Two broad allegations have been made by the BBC. Both are based on flawed assumptions that President Coe strongly refutes," the IAAF said in a statement on Thursday.

The statement accepted that Coe was sent a number of emails regarding allegations of corruption, as the BBC claimed, but said he did not read them and that he left them for the IAAF ethics commission to consider.

"Seb has never denied hearing rumors about corruption. In fact he has said on many occasions that when alerted to rumors he asked people to pass them on to the ethics commission to be investigated," the IAAF said.

"You may think this shows a lack of curiosity. He, and we, would argue that it shows a full duty of care. Ensuring the right people in the right place were aware of allegations and were investigating them."

The BBC published what it said was a series of emails, some between Coe and Diack, and also involving Coe's former chief of staff Nick Davies, who was last week suspended from duty by the ethics commission subject to an investigation into claims he received a payment for covering up Russian doping.   Continued...

Sebastian Coe, President of the IAAF, looks on during opening ceremonies for the IAAF World Indoor Athletics Championships in Portland, Oregon March 17, 2016.   REUTERS/Mike Blake