Lord Coe pushes for independent testing

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Lord Coe has reaffirmed his desire to overhaul the doping process in the world of Athletics, and initiate a new independent body responsible for testing.

His stance on anti-doping has been one of the pillars of his presidency bid, along with his desire to revamp the track & field calendar and modernize the sport.

In the wake of the recent scandal involving alleged systematic doping among Russian Athletes, Coe believes there needs to be an independent body responsible for carrying out testing across all federations:

“The great advantage of independent testing is that it will remove potential conflicts. It takes the pressure off individual federations. It is expensive, it is quite burdensome in terms of time and resource and often federations get caught up in a web of legalistic challenge.

“To have an independent system that I hope, I think, I know can speed up the process of the period between a positive and a sanction can make life easier for individual federations and can remove the potential for conflict. This should be the next stage.”

The Olympic Gold medallist has stepped up his presidency bid in recent weeks and has travelled the world extensively in recent weeks to spread his message:

“In the last two weeks I’ve visited four continents. It’s as I thought it would be. If you want to stand for election you have to put yourself out there and that’s what I’ve been doing. It won’t be for want of trying,” he said.

Coe’s main competition, Sergey Bubka. Photo: dohastadiumplusqatar

The vote for the IAAF presidency will take place on August 19th with incumbent Lamine Diack set to step down after 16 years of service. Former Olympic gold medalist Sergey Bubka is Coe’s main competition, but believes the election could bring great change to the sport, regardless of who is elected:

“It’s not just really about who emerges at the end of the process, obviously I hope it’s me, but it is a good opportunity for the federation and the sport to have an open discourse about where the sport needs to be in 20 years’ time.”

The former LOCOG Chariman was back in the UK to promote the launch of the Morrisons Great Newham Run, a 10k run which gives competitors the chance to race and finish at the Olympic Stadium.

“If the challenge for sport in the 20th century was taking it to communities, the big challenge in the 21st century is taking it to young people,” said the 58-year-old.

“The biggest challenge we have is to renew our fan base, our audience and make sure that our competitions are relevant to young people.”