IAAF president Lord Coe is facing conflict of interest allegations after emails emerged suggesting he lobbied his predecessor over the hosting of the 2021 World Championships. Eugene, USA, was given the event without a bidding process, despite interest from the Swedish city of Gothenburg. A BBC investigation has uncovered emails which claim Coe – an ambassador for sports giant Nike and then vice-president of world athletics – “reached out” to Lamine Diack with his support for Eugene’s bid. The Oregon city, which lost out to Doha with a 2019 bid, is closely associated with Nike.
When asked about the allegations, Lord Coe told the BBC he “did not lobby anyone” over Eugene’s bid, but “encouraged them to re-enter another bidding cycle as they had a strong bid”. The British former Olympic 1500m champion was elected as president of athletics’ governing body in August. He received £63,000 from UK Sport to pay for his PR team as part of the election process and said the rest of his campaign was “privately funded”. Coe says that all of his interests were declared to the IAAF’s ethics committee and that his views on all the bids for the 2019 World Athletics Championships and Eugene’s 2021 bid “are all a matter of public record”.
Do we have sanity in any sport? We doubt. Cheats everywhere.