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New IAAF President Coe targets restoration of ‘trust and integrity’ in athletics
Newly-elected International Association of Athletics Federations (IAAF) President Lord Sebastian Coe has said that he aims to prioritise the restoration of “trust and integrity” in global athletics.
Two-time Olympic gold meda winner Coe beat Ukraine pole vault great Sergei Bubka in elections to succeed Lamine Diack as President of the world athletics governing body during the ongoing IAAF World Championships in Beijing, China last week.
However, he takes on the leadership role of the IAAF, and the sport of athletics, at a time when it is crisis mode following the leaking of data earlier this month from thousands of blood samples gathered from competing athletes.
Coe told the BBC, "all the things I want really to get stuck in to, in the first hundred days actually, all that can only be predicated on two immutable principles of trust and integrity."
The British two-time Olympic 1,500 metre champion stated he must end any suspicion that all leading athletes are using performance-enhancing drugs, adding "we've got to kill the perception that somehow the IAAF has been sitting on its hands, or is in some way complicit, in not doing enough.
“I've been on the (IAAF) Council since 2003 ... (and) we have driven high-profile cheats out of the sport and we've paid a high price for doing that.
"In 2005 we were a sport that still had the prescience to start collecting samples knowing one day the technology would emerge and we could go back 10 years, as we have done recently, and pull people out from world championship-winning positions.”
Leading in to the World Championships, the IAAF said it had opened disciplinary action against a further 28 athletes following reanalysis of samples taken during its 2005 and 2007 World Championships in Helsinki and Osaka.
The IAAF stressed that the re-analysis of these samples has been ongoing for some time, and was commenced well before the most recent allegations made against it by German public-service broadcaster ARD and UK newspaper The Sunday Times.
The television documentary broadcast on 1st August alleged that ARD and The Sunday Times obtained a leaked database, belonging to the IAAF, which contained more than 12,000 blood tests from around 5,000 athletes in the years 2001 to 2012.
Coe has denied he did not welcome media coverage alleging widespread drug use and official cover-ups, stating "we shouldn't ever hide away from the media that wants to look and judge us.
“For me the issue was really about the very selective use of information that actually shouldn't have been in the public domain, it was very private information, and information you could not extrapolate from in terms of one simple reading.
"Our overall objective is to get the cheats out of our sport but my objective over the coming years is for the clean athletes to know there is absolutely no question I am in their corner.”
12th April 2015 - MORE THAN 100 FEDERATIONS TO JOIN IN 2015 IAAF WORLD ATHLETICS DAY
4th September 2014 - DOHA GOALS FOURM TO PROMOTE TRANSFORMATIONAL AGENDA FOR SPORT
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