IAAF president Lord Sebastian Coe has announced that he will double the world governing body’s anti-doping budget in a bid to help rebuild trust in the sport.
Lord Coe outlined a 10-point plan to begin the tall order of rebuilding the IAAF and the sport itself stating “Be under no illusion about how seriously I take these issues. I am president of an international federation which is under serious investigations and I represent a sport under intense scrutiny.”
The president’s predecessor, Lamine Diack, and his son who is the former IAAF marketing consultant, Papa Massata Diack, along with other senior IAAF officials have been accused by French prosecutors of conspiring to cover up positive drugs tests in return for payment.
The increase takes the IAAF’s anti-doping budget to a total of £5.45m with Lord Coe is looking to appoint a new chief executive by mid-2016 as well as establishing a separate integrity unit for athletics before the Rio 2016 Olympics and double the international testing pool of athletes to 1,000.
One of the issues the president intends to tackle as part of his reforms is the ability to attract new, younger viewers to the sport.
“My vision is to have a sport that attracts more young people. The average age of those watching track and field is 55. This is not sustainable,” Coe said.
“The key to making that vision a reality is creating a sport that people once more trust in. Athletics must be a sport that athletes, fans, sponsors, media and parents alike know is safe to compete in on a level playing field and one in which clean effort is rewarded and celebrated.”