Coe calls for all countries to help corruption probe

President of the International Association of Athletics Federations Sebastian Coe.
President of the International Association of Athletics Federations Sebastian Coe.PHOTO: EPA

DOHA • Sebastian Coe has urged every country to cooperate with a French police investigation into alleged athletics corruption.

The embattled International Association of Athletics Federations (IAAF) said in Doha on Friday that the police needed full cooperation from those under suspicion.

His plea comes after Senegal ruled out extraditing Papa Massata Diack - who is accused of blackmailing athletes who failed drug tests - to France.

"From the moment that we were confronted by the police investigation into these allegations, I made it very clear to everybody within my organisation and within the council that we would be fully cooperative," he said.

"I have made it very clear that we need, that the sport needs, to understand the full nature of these allegations, to bring this to a head as quickly as possible.

"I do encourage every country, every federation to cooperate as fully as they can with the French investigation that is taking place."

Papa Massata Diack is the son of Coe's disgraced predecessor, Lamine Diack, who stood down as IAAF president in August before being charged with corruption by French judges.

Earlier on Friday, the BBC quoted Senegal's prime minister Mohammed Dionne as saying that the west African country would not extradite its citizens.

Papa Massata Diack was banned for life by the IAAF's ethics commission on Jan 7, after it found that he along with others "conspired to extort what were in substance bribes from the athlete by acts of blackmail".

Meanwhile, Qatar's athletics boss and IAAF vice-president Dahlan Al Hamad insisted that his country does not need to resort to "dirty business" in order to host major sporting championships.

He was responding to allegations which surfaced last week in London that Qatari athletics officials tried to bribe IAAF chiefs in an attempt to win the right to host the 2017 World Championships.

Said Hamad: "To go through the accusation, it's really painful for us.

"During the bidding it was fair and transparent to all in the council. We respected the council's decision on 2017 and that did not stop us to come back in 2019."

Qatar was not awarded next year's event, but will host the 2019 championships.

AGENCE FRANCE-PRESSE

A version of this article appeared in the print edition of The Sunday Times on January 24, 2016, with the headline 'Coe calls for all countries to help corruption probe'. Print Edition | Subscribe