World athletics chief Sebastian Coe has denied allegations of a conflict of interest over his ties with Nike and his role in the 2021 championships being awarded to the sportswear company’s home state.
Coe is believed to earn around £100,000 (Dh57,000) a year as a Nike ambassador but faces calls to cut links with the company due to possible conflicts of interest arising.
He is facing questions over the IAAF’s decision in April to award the 2021 world championships to Eugene, in the United States – which is closely linked to sportswear giant Nike – without a bidding process, despite strong interest from Swedish city Gothenburg.
Here is the email from a senior Nike executive which poses questions for Lord Coe pic.twitter.com/FZm73dtCyZ
— Mark Daly (@BBCMarkDaly) November 24, 2015
Coe, who was elected IAAF president in August, has denied doing any lobbying on behalf of Eugene. A BBC investigation has claimed to have email evidence of emails that Coe contacted he predecessor as IAAF president to support Eugene’s bid.
However, Coe yesterday refuted all allegations, saying: “I did not lobby anyone on behalf of the Eugene 2021 bid. The situation was unusual but not unprecedented. A bid process did not take place when Osaka was awarded the 2007 World Championships.
“The process for bidding is already being reviewed as part of a wide range of reforms currently being prepared.”
Coe was elected president of the IAAF in August after spending eight years as deputy to Diack, who is being investigated by French police on suspicion of having taken bribes to cover up positive drug tests.
The timing of the allegations of Coe’s conflict of interest is not great for either the former two-time Olympic 1500m champion or the IAAF.
The IAAF Council meets in Monaco on Thursday to discuss Russian track and field, just three weeks after deciding to temporarily suspend them. But Dick Pound, former WADA president and co-author of the independent commission’s report, has expressed his expectation that Russian athletes would be in Rio as their sporting officials push to quickly comply with WADA rules.
Pound did add that the second part of his report, focusing on alleged IAAF corruption and likely due in early 2016, would have a “wow factor”. He said: “I think people will say how on earth could this happen?”
The Bloomberg Square Mile Relay will arrive in the UAE early next year, making Dubai the latest city to host the popular corporate run.
Set in the heart of Dubai International Financial District on Wednesday, February 3, 2016, the Bloomberg Square Mile will give participants from firms located in the region a unique opportunity to test their abilities.
Unlike many runs though, the Bloomberg Square Mile has a unique one-mile (1.6km) route that takes runners up staircases, along corridors, through buildings and onto the surrounding pathways.
– Dubai overrun with Color in 'Happiest 5k On The Planet'
– NATIONAL SPORTS DAY: AD hopes for big turnover in celebration
A team will be made up of 10 runners, with each having to complete the entire course before handing the baton to their team-mate.
The fastest team cumulatively will earn the honour of becoming the first winners of the inaugural event in Dubai and will receive a cheque for Dh30,000 to donate to their nominated charity.
The awards ceremony will take place alongside a celebratory after-race party, which will have live music, food, drinks and entertainment throughout the evening.
In addition to being a healthy initiative to get corporate workers active, the run is also a great way to build team-work.
“The Bloomberg Square Mile Relay is a unique sporting event whose goal is to offer a platform for teams from local corporates to express their sporting enthusiasm while also building trust and understanding within and between team,” said Nike Keller, MD of event organisers Square Mile Sport.
“It is a great opportunity to take part in a team-building or corporate networking activity or merely enjoy seeing the city from a special on-foot perspective.
“The event is open to all levels of experience, whether you are an elite runner or just run for fun in your spare time – we want everyone to enjoy this fantastic experience.”
After successfully launching in London in 2007, the annual event has expanded in recent years to major locations such as Hong Kong, Singapore and Shanghai.
More than 100 teams enter the relay race in each city every year, with Dubai marking the first leg of the 2016 series which also includes inaugural races for Sydney, Frankfurt and New York.
Registration is open until January 21, 2016, and can be done by visiting www.squaremilerelay.com/dubai.
The early bird rate is Dh4,995 per team until December 31, with general entry after that costing Dh5,500.
What: Bloomberg Square Mile Relay
Where: Dubai International Financial District
When: Wednesday, February 3, 2016, beginning at 18:00
Contact: Visit www.squaremilerelay.com/dubai to sign up and for more information
Athletics has been understrict scrutiny of late, after claims certain Russian competitors have not abide by the rules in place.
It now appears that the WADA is taking action, in an attempt to toughen up the drug system.
– Russia: Federation pays price with IAAF ban
Frederic Donze, the Director in the European Office of the WADA, is looking to bring together the IAF, WADA and the IOC in an attempt to get rid of the drug issue in all sports and all countries (that participate in sports), once and for all.
The decision came after securring the backing of athletes and the athletes committee, to "further enhance the process of monitoring compliance of all sports".