Was Sebastian Coe aware of Russian doping scandal?

Sebastian Coe
Sebastian Coe

London: Allegations that world athletics chief Sebastian Coe misled British lawmakers intensified yesterday after new emails appeared to show he was "made aware" of corruption claims concerning the Russian doping scandal four months before they became public.

Coe, the president of the International Association of Athletics Federations, told a House of Commons committee in December 2015 he was "not aware" of specific allegations of corruption in Russian athletics until a German documentary in December 2014.

But an email published by the culture, media and sport committee from British athletics great Coe, a two-time Olympic champion, to the IAAF's ethics commission in August 2014 stated: "I have now been made aware of the allegations."

Coe told Parliament in 2015: "I was certainly not aware of the specific allegations that had been made around the corruption of anti-doping processes in Russia."

MPs had wanted Coe to re-appear before the committee following evidence from former athlete David Bedford that appeared to contradict that of the IAAF president.

Coe, the Olympic 1500 metres champion at 1980 and 1984 Games in Moscow and Los Angeles respectively, is yet to return to the committee but has agreed to two requests to make correspondence he had with Michael Beloff, the chief of the IAAF ethics commission, and a leading English lawyer. "Whatever excuse he gives, it is clear that Lord Coe decided not to share with the committee information that was relevant to our inquiry on doping in sport," House of Commons culture, media and sport committee chairman Damian Collins said.

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