Tuesday 27 September 2016

Sebastian Coe outlines plans to "restore trust" in athletics and doubles anti-doping budget

Published 05/01/2016 | 19:40

Sebastian Coe
Sebastian Coe

IAAF president Sebastian Coe has set out his plan to rebuild the trust in athletics eroded by drug and corruption scandals, including doubling the anti-doping budget to €7.5million.

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Coe has laid out what an IAAF statement called "his road map for athletics to restore trust", with one five-point plan to reform the crisis-hit world governing body and another to build confidence in competition.

As well as doubling the anti-doping budget to $8million, Coe's plans also include a new chief executive to be appointed by mid-2016, the establishment of a separate integrity unit for athletics, to be up and running before August's Olympics in Rio, and doubling the current international testing pool of athletes to 1,000.

The integrity unit - which was a key election manifesto promise of Coe - will review issues such as doping, corruption, betting and age manipulation.

Coe said: "Be under no illusion about how seriously I take these issues. I am president of an international federation which is under serious investigations and I represent a sport under intense scrutiny.

"My vision is to have a sport that attracts more young people. The average age of those watching track and field is 55 years old. This is not sustainable.

"The key to making that vision a reality is creating a sport that people once more trust in. Athletics must be a sport that athletes, fans, sponsors, media and parents alike know is safe to compete in on a level playing field and one in which clean effort is rewarded and celebrated."

Coe has endured a baptism of fire since being elected IAAF president last August.

The World Anti-Doping Agency revealed state-sponsored doping in Russian athletics which resulted in the country being suspended by the IAAF, with more revelations from the second part of WADA's report to come next week set to deliver further blows to the IAAF's credibility.

Coe's predecessor as president Lamine Diack is the subject of a police investigation over claims he took money to cover up positive drugs tests by Russian athletes.

Meanwhile, Coe's right-hand man at the IAAF, Nick Davies, has stepped aside from his role as the director of the president's office while he is investigated by the IAAF's ethics commission.

Davies faces allegations of unethical behaviour after the French newspaper Le Monde obtained a copy of an email sent by him in which he appears to discuss delaying the identification of Russian drug cheats in the run-up to the 2013 World Championships in Moscow. He denies any wrongdoing.

Press Association

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