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Coe Under Fire Over Support For Eugene 2021   
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International athletics governing body (IAAF) president Sebastian Coe has come under fire for his role in the bid of American city Eugene to host the 2021 world championships, which was eventually awarded without a vote.

The BBC reported Wednesday it had uncovered emails, which showed Coe backed Eugene and had spoken to his predecessor, Lamine Diack, about their bid. The city in Oregon, which lost out to Doha in bidding for the 2019 event, is closely associated with sports firm Nike, for whom Coe, a two-time Olympic 1,500 metre champion, acts as ambassador.

Eugene was eventually awarded the championships in April this year without a bidding process, much to the fury of Gothenburg who had planned their own bid.

"It smells and it has to be investigated. That's for the sport, for everybody involved," Bjorn Eriksson, leader of the Gothenburg bid, told the BBC.

"It doesn't look good. I would very much like to hear the explanation for this."

Coe denied he had specifically lobbied in favour of Eugene, and that, he merely encouraged them to try again given their losing bid for 2019.

On Thursday the IAAF council meets in Monte Carlo, where it would discuss the path Russia must follow to have its suspension from the sport lifted after it was banned on the recommendation of the World Anti-Doping Agency (WADA) for a programme of widespread doping and corruption.

Now Coe, in his third month as president after being elected in August, is likely to come under scrutiny again over his suitability to lead the sport and his links with Nike.

When elected, Coe lavished praised on Diack, who was IAAF president from 1999, and hit out at those who suggested athletics had a problem with doping.

However, Diack is now under criminal investigation from French authorities in suspicion of corruption and money laundering having allegedly taken bribes to cover up positive and suspicious doping test results.
Source: GNA

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