Coe: I loathe and detest drug cheats


IAAF president Sebastian Coe "loathes and detests" athletes who commit doping violations, suggesting athletics has been changed for good.

The IAAF provisionally suspended Russia in November following allegations of state-sponsored doping in a report published by an independent commission established by the World Anti-Doping Agency (WADA).

The wave of scandal shows no sign of easing, with the adding of meldonium to WADA's list of prohibited substances on January 1 resulting in over 99 failed drugs tests in 2016.

Coe struggles to comprehend the mindset behind athletes who use performance enhancing substances, whom he was highly critical of.

"I loathe and detest athletes who do this to the sport," he said in an interview with The Telegraph.

"I'll be open with you - I just don't get it. It's not a world I've ever lived in. Some would say I was lucky in my own career, but it doesn't matter to me.

"I know that I was better than the cheats and had far smarter coaches, who believed implicitly that we could do this cleanly."

However, Coe believes positive work is being done to eliminate doping within athletics, though he acknowledges the face of the sport has been permanently altered.

"I take some comfort from the fact that we have got them, and that their medals and records are not theirs any longer," he added.

"We don't shirk this. A sport that wanted to avoid controversy would not be re-testing samples from the 2005 World Championships in Helsinki.

"Our problems have become more public by the day. That has galvanised us into recognising that we cannot ever be the same again."