IAAF president Seb Coe announced on Thursday that he will be ending his ambassador role with Nike amidst continued pressure that the position was a conflict of interest.
Coe has been associated with Nike for 38 years, first as an athlete before assuming an ambassador role with the sportswear giant. Nike paid Coe more than $200,000 while his position with the IAAF is unpaid.
Breaking: Coe steps down from ambassadorial role with Nike. “Noise level not good for IAAF..
— Dan Roan (@danroan) November 26, 2015
“The current noise around it is not good for the IAAF and it is not good for Nike,” Coe said. “It is clear perception and reality have become horribly mangled.”
The decision to step down from Nike “was purely on the need to focus on challenges ahead with my colleagues and particularly the executive teams here at (IAAF) headquarters”, he said.
The announcement comes two days after emails surfaced that suggested Coe vouched for Eugene, Ore., to host the 2021 World Championships to the IAAF president at the time, Lamine Diack.
Nike is headquartered in Oregon and has deep ties with track and field in Eugene.