Adidas pulls out of £23m world athletics sponsorship over doping scandal

Sports company withdraws athletics support over doping and corruption

These are dark days for athletics. Following the publication of an in-depth report into international corruption and doping within athletics last year, key sponsor Adidas has withdrawn its sponsorship of the IAAF (International Association of Athletics Federations).

According to the BBC, it will cost the IAAF and its commercial partner Dentsu, tens of millions of pounds in revenue.

Adidas’s 11-year sponsorship deal was due to run until 2019 and was reportedly worth $33m (£23m).

Will this be the only company to jump ship following the scandal?

Adidas is one of a number of the IAAF’s official partners, which include Canon, Toyota, Seiko, TDK, TBS and Mondo.

Following the publication of a first report in November, earlier this month, the World Anti-Doping Agency (WADA) chairman, Dick Pound said that “corruption was embedded” within the IAAF under former president Lamine Diack.

In particular, the Russian athletics federation was found to be non-compliant with anti-doping measures and the report went as far as saying the Russian state was complicit in covering up and manipulating athletes doping test results.

The collapse of the high-profile sponsorship deal will no doubt come as a blow to current IAAF president Lord Coe, who was instrumental in organising the 2012 Olympic Games, and who has called for greater transparency and accountability in athletics to help stop doping.

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