London may drop IAAF tag in 2017

Organisers of the 2017 World Championships in London are in talks with athletics’ world governing body about dropping ‘IAAF’ from the event’s branding.

The doping scandal which has rocked the sport has led to the IAAF being regarded by the public as a “toxic” brand, according to sources.

The IAAF and its president Seb Coe would have to give consent to the move however, as the original branding was agreed when London won the bid for the 2017 championships in 2011.

It is understood 2017 organisers are hopeful of gaining the agreement of the IAAF because even the world governing body’s leaders are aware of the reputational damage caused by the scandal involving Coe’s predecessor Lamine Diack, who has been arrested by French police on suspicion of taking money from Russian athletes to cover up doping offences.

Coe, meanwhile, has denied flagging up allegations of bribery ahead of the vote to decide the host city for the 2017 World Championships.

Coe was a vice-president of the IAAF at the time of the vote which was held in Monaco in November 2011.

He led London’s final presentation before the 26 members of the IAAF council cast their votes.

He has since been elected president of athletics’ world governing body, with the two-time former Olympic 1,500m champion stating his determination to clean up the sport after recent doping scandals.

Coe has repeatedly denied he knew of major corruption within athletics during his time as vice-president.

Two bids by Qatar’s capital Doha for the 2017 and 2019 editions of the World Championships have been referred to the IAAF’s ethics commission following allegations of “brown envelopes” and bribe demands, UK Athletics chairman Ed Warner this week told MPs in London.

Warner said he had been told of the referrals by the IAAF but refused to reveal the name of the “very senior IAAF person” who had told him of reports of brown envelopes full of cash being handed out just before the vote for the 2017 World Championships.

Meanwhile, the price tag for the 2016 Olympics in Rio de Janeiro has risen by 400m reais (€91m) since August mainly due to rising costs of supplying temporary power and seating at venues, the head of the group monitoring spending said last night.

The projected total cost for the games, including large infrastructure projects like an extended subway and reformed port area, now stands at 39.1bn reais, about 1% more than forecast six months ago.

The higher budget comes as Brazil wrestles with its worst recession in decades.


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