Athletics: Mo Farah backs Sebastian Coe to save crisis-hit athletics

British Olympic gold medallist Mo Farah.
British Olympic gold medallist Mo Farah. PHOTO: REUTERS

LONDON (AFP) - British Olympic gold medallist Mo Farah believes Sebastian Coe will clean up crisis-ridden athletics if he is elected International Association of Athletics Federations (IAAF) president this week.

Coe will find out on Wednesday if he has won the vote to succeed 82-year-old Senegalese Lamine Diack as president of the battered sport's embattled world governing body.

The 58-year-old, a double Olympic 1,500 metres champion, is running against pole vault legend Sergey Bubka for the top job at the IAAF.

This is one of the most crucial times in the sport's history given the pounding it has received by repeated drug scandals and Coe is keen to increase resources in the battle for athletics integrity.

It will be a daunting task for whoever wins the post, but double Olympic champion Farah believes Coe is the right man and would prove a breath of fresh air for the sport.

"You don't want to see anything bad in the sport, but if we all do our best that's all you can do," Farah said on Monday. "Hopefully, with Seb stepping into the job... I hope he gets that job because I believe he can change athletics.

"What he did for London 2012 (Olympics) was incredible, so I believe he can do a great job. "I don't want to see anything bad in athletics because that's the sport that I do every day and the sport that I love. I don't want people getting the wrong end of the stick."

Asked what needs to change in the world of athletics, Farah said: "In my opinion, if we all did what we do in the UK in terms of how we do testing, if every country applied to that rule, it would change dramatically. It would change a lot."

The uneasiness around athletics has brought Farah's own success into focus, with UK Athletics finding no evidence of wrongdoing in its recent investigation into allegations of doping against his coach, Alberto Salazar.