Seb Coe, the International Association of Athletics Federation (IAAF) president, has brought to an end his relationship with Nike - a sponsorship which has been sustained since his days as an athlete.
Lord Coe, who receives an estimated £100,000 annually from Nike, came under fire after the BBC revealed he’d been had email discussions with Nike's director of business affairs for its global sports marketing Craig Masback about hosting the 2021 World Championships in Eugene, near the sports giant’s headquarters in Oregon.
Eugene was later awarded the 2021 World Championships without a bidding process. Coe however denies lobbying on behalf of Eugene or Nike.
Coe said: "I did not lobby anyone on behalf of the Eugene 2021 bid. After their narrow defeat for the 2019 World Championships I encouraged them to re-enter another bidding cycle as they have a strong bid."
Tory MP Damian Collins, who sits on the House of Commons select committee for culture, media and sport, was among critics calling Coe’s ambassador role a “conflict of interest” on Twitter.
Seb Coe should end his job with Nike if he is to continue as President of the IAAF. The perception of conflicts of interest is too great
— Damian Collins (@DamianCollins) November 24, 2015
He welcomed the news that Coe had severed ties with Nike.
IAAF President Seb Coe has announced he is to give up his role as a Nike Global ambassador. The right decision.
— Damian Collins (@DamianCollins) November 26, 2015
On severing the ties, Coe said: "The current noise around it is not good for the IAAF and it is not good for Nike."