VIENNA: Ahead of the IAAF Council decision on whether world athletics firms up its ban on Russia Lord Seb Coe, president of the International Association of Athletics Federations, had been confronted with questions over his accession to the sport’s top job.
The IAAF has said that a BBC Panorama programme, which claimed Coe might have won the presidential election with help from the son of disgraced predecessor Lamine Diack, was based on “flawed assumptions”.
Panorama said it has seen text messages that suggest Papa Massata Diack helped secure votes for Coe in the IAAF election in August 2015.
Diack is the son of former IAAF president Lamine Diack. Both men have been banned for life from the sport and are currently under investigation by French prosecutors on corruption charges.
The programme also claimed Coe may have misled parliament in November 2015 over what he knew, and when, about the extent of Russia’s doping problems which is being tackled in Vienna today.
Russia have been suspended from international competition since November after an investigation commissioned by the World Anti-Doping Agency uncovered systematic cheating.
Allowing Russian athletes to compete in Rio would be met with outrage by many athletes and administrators, who feel a ban which takes in only one major championship – the World Indoor Championships in March, which many athletes opted to miss anyway – is insufficient for the extent of cheating uncovered.
Indeed, WADA has said Russia still had “serious challenges” to overcome in its drug-testing programme.