Coe will talk to MPs again – but wants to know nature of enquiry

Lord Coe

Lord Coe says he has not refused to answer further questions from MPs investigating doping in sport.

But the head of the IAAF, athletics’ world governing body, wants to know what they intend to ask him.

The Culture, Media and Sport select committee has asked Coe to return for further questioning after hearing evidence it believes “undermines” what he told them when appearing last year.

Writing to the committee chairman, he said he “will do what I can to help”.

But he added: “I believe I have a right to understand the nature of the further information you are seeking.”

Coe said previously he was unaware of allegations of state-sponsored doping by Russian athletes, and cover-ups involving officials at the IAAF, until they were revealed in a documentary by German broadcaster ARD on 3 December 2014.

He had received emails detailing some of the allegations earlier in the year but told the committee he had passed them on to be dealt with and had not read them himself.

However, the man who sent those emails – former London Marathon chief David Bedford – told the committee earlier this month that he had contacted Coe about the matter in August that year then spoke to him about a related matter in November.

That prompted committee chairman Damian Collins to ask Coe to come back for further questioning because Bedford’s evidence “raised clear and important questions” about Coe’s knowledge of the allegations.

Fellow panel member, Conservative MP Nigel Huddleston, said the answers “undermined” Coe’s version of events.

An IAAF statement followed which questioned whether Bedford’s evidence offered anything new to the inquiry, adding Coe has “no further information he can provide” – suggesting he would not be returning to give evidence.

Coe has now written to Collins to say that is not the case, saying: “I will do what I can to help the select committee further.”

However, he added: “It is not clear to me what these unanswered questions are.”

In a reply, Collins said: “David Bedford told the committee that in his view you were aware of the allegations. We wish to pursue this discrepancy.”

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BBC Sport – Athletics

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