Adidas Ends IAAF Sponsorship Over Dopping Scandal

January 25
1:28 AM 2016

Adidas AG, the German sportswear and apparel giant ends sponsorship with the International Association of Athletics Federation (IAAF), related to continuous doping scandal which has been going on for more than a year. Even top athlete, Usain Bolt express his disapointment to  IAAF.

The scandal was unearthed in December 2014 when World Anti Doping Association (WADA) investigated a doping allegation involving IAAF senior officials and Russian's athletic federation. Following the investigation, several IAAF officials stepped down including anti-doping director Gabriel Dolle and Sebastian Coe replaced Lamine Diack as IAAF president in August 2015. The former IAAF president Lamine Diack arrested in France last November 2015 for allegation of bribery he took to deter sanction against Russia for doping case.

In latest report relased on January 14 2016, according to USA Today WADA found new evidence of corruption involving Diack and his two sons. Dick Pound, former head of WADA who is in charge of the investigation, led his team to focus on alleged corruption undertaken by those three people along with the IAAF's general lack of action after evidence of doping in Russian athletes was mounting.

The report said, "It is increasingly clear that far more IAAF staff knew about the problems than has currently been acknowledged. It is not credible that elected officials were unaware of the situation affecting athletics in Russia. If, therefore, the circle of knowledge was so extensive, why was nothing done? Quite obviously, there was no appetite on the part of the IAAF to challenge Russia."

Recent WADA's report also indicated that recent IAAF president, Sebastian Coe who had been one of the vice president under Lamine Diack for seven years, may have been aware of the corruption.

This corruption and doping scandal have drawn criticism from top athlete. Six-times Olympic champion and the sprinter king, Usain Bolt said the scandal had made IAAF failed their athletes. In his interview with The Daily Mail the sprinter king said, "When I heard it was quite shocking for me to hear that because as far as I was concerned I think they were doing a good job to clean up the sport."

In the recent development, BBC reported that earlier this week, Adidas has informed the IAAF of its decision to terminate their sponsorship deal four years early. BBC also noticed that the sports apparel giant has informed the IAAF in November to consider ending the sponsorship. Neither Adidas nor the IAAF has made any comment regarding the termination.

Adidas signed the 11-year sponsorship deal with IAAF in 2008 ending in 2019. The deal was reported would be worth $33 million. However, the company decided to terminate the contract, as it may damage its reputation.

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