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Coe on IAAF clean up mission

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By Euronews
Coe on IAAF clean up mission

World Athletics president Lord Sebastian Coe, on Wednesday, vowed to lead a clean-up of his beleaguered IAAF.

The two-time Olympic 1500m champion was addressing the Commons culture, media and sport committee in London.

The newly-elected IAAF president told the select committee of MPs that there had been too much power shared by too few people and that the organisation now needs to rebuild its reputation, although trust might be difficult to achieve in the short term.

Lord Coe said: “ I’m happy to concede here, was too much power vested in too few people within the organisation? Yes, clearly, and is that the case probably within the traditional structures across sport? Yes. Can those be changed? They have to be, because we have to lower the walls, we cannot have a situation where you are not able to properly interrogate and make sure the right systems are in place, will I put those systems in place? Yes. Can those changes be made quickly? Yes they can. Can we return to trust ? That’s going to take far longer.”

It’s has been a difficult and controversial time for Lord Coe since he was elected in August.

His predecessor Lamine Diack and the IAAF’s former doping chief Gabriel Dolle are under investigation for accepting bribes for doping cover-ups.

Russia has been banned from all international athletics competitions after a damning World Anti Doping Agency report detailed systematic and state-sponsored doping.

Lord Coe added that Russia would not be permitted to return to international competition until it had met strict anti-doping testing standards.

Last month 59-year-old Coe stepped down from ambassadorial role with US sportswear giant Nike, worth 140,000 euros a year, following claims he had lobbied Diack for the company’s home town to be awarded the 2021 athletics World Championships.

It was awarded eventually to Eugene, Oregon without a bidding process.

The IAAF’s ethics committee cleared him to continue his commercial activities, and although Coe claimed their was no conflict of interest, decided to end his 38-year relationship with the company saying it had become a ‘‘distraction’‘ to the 18-hour days he and his team were working to ‘‘steady the ship’‘.