Seb Coe cleared as IAAF ethics board closes investigation

Seb Coe has been cleared by the IAAF ethics board of any impropriety with regard to evidence he gave to a Parliamentary Committee concerning Russian doping in December 2015.

Coe, the IAAF president, had been accused in a report issued by the Department for Digital, Culture, Media and Sport (DCMS) committee of providing “misleading” answers, based around his claim that he had been unaware of the extent of a then-alleged extortion scheme concerning the Russian marathon runner Liliya Shobukhova.

Over two years later, in January 2017, David Bedford, the former race director of the London Marathon, also gave evidence to the committee, indicating he had emailed details of the Shobukhova case to former MP Coe, contained in a series of attachments, in August 2014.

The ethics board accepted Coe’s evidence that his personal assistant had read the body of the emails, rather than the attachments, to him, and that by inference, he had been truthful in stating to the DCMS committee that he had no extensive knowledge of the Shobukova case at the time.

Seb Coe during a London Marathon press conference (Lauren Hurley/PA Images).

In a statement, the IAAF ethics board said it “did not find any evidence inconsistent with that position,” and that Coe properly informed the Ethics Board’s chairman, Michael Beloff, as soon as he became aware of the extent of the allegations.

The statement continued: “The investigation has therefore not identified evidence of a potential breach of the Code of Ethics by Lord Coe.

“The investigator concluded that there is no realistic prospect of establishing that Lord Coe knew more about the Shobukhova affair at the relevant time than that Liliya Shobukhova had made a complaint, and the complaint was serious.

“As such, the investigator concluded that there is no evidence such that there is any realistic prospect that any disciplinary case could be established that Lord Coe intentionally misled the Parliamentary Committee, and accordingly the investigator recommended against disciplinary charges being laid.”

- Press Association

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