World athletics chief Sebastian Coe has labelled as “abhorrent” allegations of doping bribery within athletics after his predecessor was arrested by French police.
“That people in our sport have allegedly extorted money from athletes guilty of doping violations is abhorrent,” said International Association of Athletics Federations (IAAF) president Coe in a statement to Britain’s Sunday Times newspaper.
Lamine Diack, Coe’s immediate predecessor, was charged by French police with corruption over suspicions he took bribes worth more than one million euros ($1.09 million) to cover up doping cases involving Russian athletes.
The IAAF have also opened disciplinary proceedings against one of Diack’s sons and three others, their own former treasurer and ex-doping chief.
However, Coe in his first response to the latest crisis to hit track and field, added: “That they were not able to cover up the doping results is testament to the system that the IAAF and WADA (World Anti-Doping Agency) have jointly put in place.”
Coe said disciplinary procedures would be strengthened if current systems were found to be inadequate.
“Where there are fragilities in the system that may have allowed extortion, no matter how unsuccessful, we will strengthen them,” said Coe.