Sebastian Coe admits IAAF covered up doping - but insists he knew nothing, and backed by Dick Pound

Sebastian Coe admits IAAF covered up doping - but insists he knew nothing
By Eurosport

14/01/2016 at 17:03Updated 14/01/2016 at 20:30

Lord Coe has admitted that there was a cover-up of doping under the tenure of his predecessor as IAAF President, Lamine Diack.

Recently-elected IAAF president Coe insisted on Wednesday that "there is no cover-up here" in relation to Russian doping cases despite leaked documents appearing to show that officials of athletics' governing body were discussing how to suppress news of positive tests.

WADA's two-part report into Russian doping released on Thursday shredded that view, however, and Coe admitted to Sky News that there WAS a cover-up, insisting that he was unaware of what was going on, calling it "abhorrent", and describing it as a "horror show".

Dick Pound, head of anti-doping agency WADA's investigating commission, backed Coe as the right man to lead the IAAF, and suggested that Coe's earlier stance had merely been the Englishman "finding something nice to say about his predecessor".

Yet the second part of WADA's report on Wednesday said that the IAAF council - on which Coe served - "could not have been unaware of the extent of doping in athletics”.

The report also said that Coe's former right-hand-man Nick Davies was "well aware of Russian 'skeletons' in the cupboard." Davies left his role as IAAF general secretary last month.

Pound's report laid the blame for all wrongdoing at the feet of Lamine Diack, saying that the former IAAF president, "sanctioned and appeared to have had personal knowledge of the fraud and the extortion of athletes carried out by the actions of the illegitimate governance structure he put in place".

But other IAAF figures also came in for heavy criticism:

"It is increasingly clear that far more IAAF staff knew about the problems than has currently been acknowledged," the report stated.

"It is not credible that elected officials were unaware of the situation affecting ... athletics in Russia.

"If, therefore, the circle of knowledge was so extensive why was nothing done? Quite obviously there was no appetite on the part of the IAAF to challenge Russia."