From Inside the Games

International Association of Athletics Federations (IAAF) President Sebastian Coe has been accused of being aware of corruption at the heart of the world governing body before his election last August and he accepted advice from disgraced official Papa Diack during his successful campaign.

In reports published by the BBC and Daily Mail on the eve of the IAAF Council meeting at which a decision is due to be made on whether to lift the suspension of the All-Russia Athletic Federation (ARAF), Coe is accused of knowing that marathon runner Liliya Shoubukhova had paid bribes to officials to cover up the fact she had tested positive for banned performance-enhancing drugs.

He was reportedly forwarded an email in August 2014 containing the complaint that was written four months earlier by Shoubukhova’s agent Andrey Baranov outlining evidence that a cabal of officials had coerced the Russian into making payments.

This seemingly disproves his claim to a British Parliamentary Select Committee last year that he had no knowledge of any corruption within the IAAF.

Coe, an IAAF vice-president at the time under the leadership of Papa’s father Lamine Diack, claims to have forwarded the emails on to the Ethics Commission, but without reading the attachments himself.

Britain’s double Olympic 1500 metres gold medallist is accused of actively seeking the advice of Papa Diack, the figure at the centre of the allegations surrounding Shobukhova, in the run-up to the election held in Beijing on August, when he defeated only rival, Ukrainian Sergey Bubka.

In text messages between the two, Coe reportedly agreed to make a special vote of thanks for Lamine Diack in his acceptance speech, supposedly in return for help.

Following his election victory, Coe described Lamine Diack as the “spiritual President” of the sport and thanked him “for many personal kindnesses both in public and private”.

Diack was believed to have been a supporter of Coe in the latter stages of his campaign, helping him gain decisive votes in Africa and other areas.

Diack was arrested by French authorities in November over allegations he took payments for deferring sanctions against Russian drugs cheats.

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