The BBC has uncovered emails suggesting Seb Coe vouched for the U.S. and had bid-related discussions with Nike.
IAAF president Seb Coe is being questioned for his involvement with Nike and the 2021 World Championships after it was suggested that Coe lobbied his predecessor in the bidding process, according to the BBC.
Eugene, Ore., was given the world championships in 2021 without a formal bidding process despite interest from the Swedish city of Gothenburg.
A BBC investigation has acquired emails sent from Coe reaching out to Lamine Diack, the president of the IAAF at the time the championships were awarded, with his support for the Eugene bid.
The IAAF bypassed the normal bidding process and awarded the championships to Eugene, the first time the event will be held in the United States.
According to The Guardian, Diack noted at the time of bidding that: “The event enables us to take advantage of a unique opportunity that may never arise again,” in reference to the U.S. hosting the championships for the first time.
Coe stated that he did not lobby anyone on behalf of the Eugene 2021 bid, particularly Nike, according to Sports Illustrated. Nike is not an official sponsor of the event but the global sports giant has its headquarters based in nearby Beaverton, Ore.
Coe allegedly receives upwards of $141,000 per year from Nike, while his role as the IAAF president is an unpaid position. Coe has been criticized for his continuing relationship with the brand with many seeing it as a conflict of interest.
Passed by Lord Coe’s parking spot @ Nike WHQ. Still unclear how this relationship is not a conflict of interest now? pic.twitter.com/wse9rWa9ae
— Jonathan J. Marcus (@jmarpdx) November 11, 2015