Thursday 29 September 2016

Sebastian Coe sticks by 'sentiment' but 'sorry' this has turned into attack on media

Matt McGeehan

Published 02/12/2015 | 15:17

Sebastian Coe has stepped down from his Nike role
Sebastian Coe has stepped down from his Nike role

IAAF president Lord Coe has regrets over the language used but not the sentiment when describing investigations into suspicious blood results as "a declaration of war on our sport"

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Coe was on Wednesday giving evidence to the culture, media and sport select committee investigating blood doping in athletics following revelations made in the Sunday Times in August.

The former Olympic 1500 metres champion turned head of the world governing body was asked if he regretted the remark, made in August.

Coe said: "I described the use of selected data against clean athletes in exactly those terms. I don't step back from that. I stick by the sentiments. I probably might have chosen different language.

"It probably expressed my frustration and yes, anger at the time. I'm sorry this has mutated into an attack on the media. I will die in a ditch to the right for media groups to question my motives, to call to task the sport I'm currently head of.

"The issue I took exception to was the very select use of data which could not be used, in and of itself, to prove positive tests. To imperil the reputation of clean athletes and to extrapolate from one or two readings you can't do. You can't do it legally, medically and it's not within the WADA (World Anti-Doping Agency) code."

Coe pointed to Paula Radcliffe as an example.

The marathon world record holder in September went public to defend her name, claiming she had been effectively identified by the committee of MPs as having provided suspicious blood samples.

Radliffe was last week declared innocent of any blood doping by the IAAF and WADA.

Press Association

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