In Brief

Lord Coe denies misleading MPs over Russian doping scandal

Emails raise questions over when IAAF chief knew about allegations

Lord Coe has denied misleading MPs after emails emerged that appeared to show he knew about allegations of blackmail and failed drugs tests involving Russian athletes months before they became public.

In December 2015, the IAAF chief told a select committee he had not been aware of claims about the "corruption of anti-doping processes in Russia" until the broadcast of a German TV documentary on the subject in December 2014.

However, Matt Lawton of Mail Online reports that emails provided by Coe "show the double Olympic champion referencing 'serious allegations' regarding the blackmail of Russian athlete Liliya Shobukhova on August 14, 2014".

In a message, Coe wrote he had "now been made aware" of the allegations.

According to The Independent, "the email, released by the committee, was dictated by Coe to a temporary PA, several hours after he received a telephone call from the former athlete and administrator Dave Bedford, telling him that senior figures close to IAAF president Lamine Diack had forced the Russian marathon runner Liliya Shobukhova to pay £360,000 to conceal a positive drug test".

Mark Daly of the BBC's Panorama says the messages "cast fresh light on the issue of what Lord Coe knew - and when - about the burgeoning Russian corruption and doping scandal which has blighted world athletics".

Coe has denied misleading MPs. He says he was on holiday when the email was sent and had not properly read the claims and simply forwarded them to the correct authority.

"Coe insists there was no discrepancy in statements he made in December 2015 but gives an explanation that will certainly leave him open to an accusation that he did not treat Bedford's email with the respect it demanded," says Lawton.

It has also prompted calls for Coe to be recalled before MPs. Committee chairman Damian Collins told the BBC: "Whatever excuse he gives, it is clear that Lord Coe decided not to share with the committee information that was relevant to our inquiry on doping in sport."

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