MONTE CARLO: Lord Sebastian Coe has attacked Nestle’s decision to end its sponsorship of the scandal-hit IAAF.
The world’s largest foods company had become, in 2012, the main sponsor of a program aimed at promoting athletics for youths worldwide worth $1m a year. This follows a decision by Adidas to bring its own partnership with the IAAF to an early end.
Coe, British president of world athletics’ governing body, said: “Angered and dismayed by today’s kids’ athletics announcement. We will not accept it. It’s the kids who will suffer.”
Nestle said its was concerned over fears that the corruption and doping scandals surrounding the sport could damage the company’s reputation.
Spokeswoman Lydia Meziani said: “I confirm that we have decided to end our partnership with the IAAF Kids Athletics programme with immediate effect.
“This decision was taken in light of negative publicity associated with allegations of corruption and doping in sport made against the IAAF.”
She added that Nestle decided to “terminate (its) existing relationship with the IAAF” because a continued partnership “could negatively impact our reputation and image.”
The IAAF is facing crises on multiple fronts, including widespread allegations of corruption and bribery under disgraced former boss Lamine Diack.
Adding to the cloud over athletics, two Kenyan runners have claimed they faced bribery demands from some of their own officials.