Saturday 20 January 2018

Sebastian Coe to be questioned over doping investigation comments

IAAF president claimed investigations were a 'declaration of war' after Paula Radcliffe's cheating denial

IAAF president Sebastian Coe PRESS ASSOCIATION
IAAF president Sebastian Coe PRESS ASSOCIATION

Martyn Ziegler

Sebastian Coe is to be called to parliament to be grilled about his claim that media investigations into widespread doping in athletics were a "declaration of war" on the sport.

Coe, the new IAAF president, is to be called to the next culture, media and sport select committee hearing into allegations that hundreds of athletes had suspicious blood results which were not followed up by the governing body.

It comes after Paula Radcliffe on Tuesday emphatically denied cheating after saying she had been effectively implicated during the committee's session looking at blood doping in the sport.

Committee member Damian Collins, Tory MP for Folkestone and Hythe, told Press Association Sport: "The plan will be to hold another session in the next couple of months and to have Sebastian Coe there.

"I think the 'declaration of war' remark was inappropriate. The UK Anti-Doping president suggested it was because he was standing for the IAAF presidency - what we want to understand is what he actually thinks now he is president of the IAAF."

The committee hearing followed allegations by German broadcaster ARD and the Sunday Times which published data from 5,000 athletes saying it revealed an "extraordinary extent of cheating".

The IAAF said the blood results were not positive tests or proof of doping and Coe said last month, in the run-up to the presidential election: "The fightback has to start here. It is a declaration of war on my sport. There is nothing in our history of competence and integrity in drug testing that warrants this kind of attack."

Dick Pound, the former president of the World Anti-Doping Agency, is heading an independent commission investigating connected allegations of systematic doping and cover-ups in Russia. He is due to report back in the next two months.

Press Association

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