Wed, Aug 19, 2015 - Page 19 News List

Farah backs Coe to save crisis-hit sport of athletics

AFP, LONDON

British Olympic gold medalist Mo Farah said double Olympic 1,500m champion Sebastian Coe would clean up crisis-ridden athletics if he is elected International Association of Athletics Federations (IAAF) president this week.

Coe is to find out today if he has won the vote to succeed 82-year-old Lamine Diack of Senegal as president of the battered sport’s embattled world governing body.

The 58-year-old Coe is running against pole vault legend Sergey Bubka of Ukraine 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 a battle for athletics integrity.

It is likely to be a daunting task for whoever wins the post, but double Olympic champion Farah said 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 is 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,” he added.

“What he did for London 2012 [Olympics] was incredible, so I believe he can do a great job. I do not want to see anything bad in athletics because that is the sport that I do every day and the sport that I love. I do not want people getting the wrong end of the stick,” Farah added.

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 surrounding 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.

Comments will be moderated. Keep comments relevant to the article. Remarks containing abusive and obscene language, personal attacks of any kind or promotion will be removed and the user banned. Final decision will be at the discretion of the Taipei Times.

TOP top