Sunday 4 December 2016

We need a purge, insists Christie

Published 19/01/2016 | 02:30

Linford Christie has criticised IAAF president Lord Coe. Photo: Steve Parsons/PA Wire.
Linford Christie has criticised IAAF president Lord Coe. Photo: Steve Parsons/PA Wire.

Linford Christie has criticised IAAF president Lord Coe and suggested there needs to be "a purge" at the world governing body.

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Coe was given the backing of the former head of the World Anti-Doping Agency, Dick Pound, last week after an independent commission report was published presenting its findings on corruption and doping cover-ups at the IAAF.

The report did also state though that the IAAF council - including Coe - "could not have been unaware" of the extent of doping in athletics.

Christie, who won gold in the 100 metres at the 1992 Olympic Games in Barcelona said: "It's not for me to say (he should resign), it's for him to know. I think it's for him to make that decision.

"The sport needs to be clear, there needs to be total transparency and I think that's the only way.

"I said the IAAF was corrupt way back in 2000 and it's all coming to light now.

"The IAAF needs to open its doors and go into safes and cupboards and start from scratch. When you lose trust you have got to start from the bottom so the public can see (you are saying) 'This is what we are doing. We are clearing up.' There is no other way. We need a purge."

The commission report found that Coe's predecessor as IAAF president, Lamine Diack, orchestrated a conspiracy to secure bribes from athletes to cover up positive drugs tests and used his two sons to collect the money.

French police and the IAAF are investigating the bidding processes involved in seven World Championships since 2009, including the 2017 event which is to be hosted by London.

Irish Independent

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