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WADA report damns IAAF, commission chief Pound backs Coe to lead reforms

As the second damning report into doping in athletics was revealed, Dick Pound has backed Lord Coe despite Thursday's report suggesting the IAAF remains an organisation in denial under his leadership.

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Anti-doping agency report blasts IAAF

Dick Pound, the former president of the World Anti-Doping Agency (WADA), has backed under-fire IAAF president Sebastian Coe, stating that there is no one better to lead the athletics governing body back on track.

WADA stated in a report on Thursday that considerable blame landed at the feet of the IAAF council, of which Coe is part of, for ignoring the extent of doping within athletics that it "could not have been unaware of."

Coe was in the audience at Thursday's press conference in Munich as Pound, chairman of the commission, published his second report detailing excessive corruption by the IAAF to cover up doping cases. Yet as Pound concluded grim realisations about the IAAF, the former WADA president instead chose to back Lord Coe to remain in his post, stating:

"As far as the ability of Lord Coe to remain at the head of the IAAF, I think it's a fabulous opportunity for the IAAF to seize this opportunity and under strong leadership to move forward out of this.

"There's an enormous amount of reputational recovery to do here and, descending to personalities, I can't think of anyone better than Lord Coe to lead that. So all out fingers are crossed in that respect."

When asked if the IAAF remained in denial over the current revelations, Pound said: "Yes, of course there was cover-up and delay and all sorts of things. Acknowledge this. If you can't acknowledge it you are never going to get past it.

Elected last August after pledging "the very highest level of vigilance with regard to doping", Coe's credibility has taken a battering with each new development in the scandal until now.

As IAAF vice-president from 2007 to 2015, Coe was expected to be heavily involved in Pound's accusations, but left Thursday's conference with backing from the man who many predicted would lead to his resignation.

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