IAAF president says the top 20 athletes in each discipline will be tested

International Association of Athletics Federations (IAAF) president Seb Coe says he is going to double the world governing body’s anti-doping budget.

Coe had commented on the IAAF’s anti-doping spend when responding to questions at a Culture, Media and Sport Select Committee meeting investigating blood doping in athletics earlier this month. At that time he said on the topic of the anti-doping budget: “I’ll do whatever it takes to properly make sure we’ve got systems in place … double it if I have to.”

Speaking to BBC Radio 4 on Thursday (December 10), Coe explained how he is to double the anti-doping budget, adding that the IAAF will test the top 20 athletes in each discipline, rather than the top 10 as it does now.

“Countries that are serial offenders will be sanctioned, athletes will be penalised financially,” Coe said. “We’ve got to get back to a sport that has trust in every way we look. I can make the changes, I know how to do this and I will do it quite quickly, but I also concede that trust will take longer to return.”

Coe was speaking to the BBC the morning after the broadcasting company reported that French prosecutors are investigating the decision to award the 2021 IAAF World Championships to Eugene.

Meanwhile, corruption allegations involving former IAAF president Lamine Diack are also being investigated by French officials.

US city Eugene won the 2021 World Championships event after the usual bidding process was bypassed earlier this year.

Last month a Sunday Times article reported that a former president of Interpol, Bjorn Eriksson, had called for a police inquiry into the decision which was made without evaluating rival bids.

The IAAF responded to questions asked by the Sunday Times on the matter and among the points raised was that while the host city of the World Championships is usually decided via a bidding process, Osaka in Japan was also awarded the event in 2007 without one.

Last month a BBC report claimed that an investigation by the broadcasting company had “uncovered emails which claim Coe – a Nike ambassador and then-vice president of world athletics – “reached out” to Lamine Diack with his support for Eugene’s bid.”

Coe has since stepped down from his ambassadorial role with Nike and after conflict of interest allegations said: “I did not lobby anyone on behalf of the Eugene 2021 bid.”

“Eugene was not put forward by the IAAF, it was put forward by United States Track & Field … my Council decided that this was, for the foreseeable future, the best opportunity to get the World Athletics Championships into the United States,” Coe told BBC Radio 4 on Thursday.