Adidas, the IAAF’s biggest sponsor, has written to the world governing body to inform them that it is to terminate its sponsorship deal three years early, according to reports.
In 2008 the German sportswear giant signed an agreement worth a reported £23 million to sponsor the International Association of Athletics Federations, however yesterday the BBC broke the news that Adidas felt it necessary to withdraw their support following the ongoing doping scandal.
Neither the IAAF or Adidas have confirmed the reports, however both have issued short statements.
In a statement Adidas confirmed it is in talks with the IAAF: “Adidas has a clear anti-doping policy in place. Therefore, we are in close contact with the IAAF to learn more about their reform process.”
The IAAF said: “We are in close contact with all our sponsors and partners as we embark on our reform process.”
While Adidas may have terminated the deal, it is understood that there will be no direct financial implications to the IAAF as the deal falls within a wider marketing agreement with Japanese company Dentsu.
The world governing body has sold its marketing and sponsorship rights to Dentsu, who then sells them onto commercial partners and sponsors such as Adidas. If the deal is terminated and the German sportswear manufacturer don’t pay up the remaining four years on their contract, Dentsu will bear the cost.
Darren Campbell told the BBC that the news that Adidas could be ending its sponsorship deal early would cause damage to the IAAF’s reputation.
“It’s one thing to say we won’t be renewing our contract after 2019 but to actually terminate your contract now, seven, eight months before the start of the Olympic Games, this is huge,” said the Olympic gold medallist.