German sportswear giant Adidas is reportedly ending its multimillion dollar backing of athletics governing body International Association of Athletics Federations, according to a report by the BBC.
German sportswear company Adidas has reportedly told the International Association of Athletics Federations (IAAF) that it is planning to withdraw from its sponsorship agreement four years early, according to a report from the BBC.
The move comes in reaction to the doping scandal engulfing the world of track and field following the report by the World Anti Doping Agency (WADA) Independent Commission, published in November, which described claims of "state sponsored doping" in Russia.
It comes on the heels of another report released earlier this month by commission chairman Dick Pound, which revealed that "corruption was embedded" within the IAAF under former President Lamine Diack.
Estimated loss: $30 million
The sponsorship deal with a lifespan of 11 years was signed in 2008 and was due to run until 2019. The deal was reported to be worth $33 million (30.5 million euros).
The BBC, however, citing anonymous sources, said the figure was much higher, worth around $8 million this year alone.
Based on those figures, the IAAF is looking at a loss of around $30 million over the next four years.
According to the BBC report, Adidas believes the doping revelations in Pound's report constitute a breach of its agreement with the IAAF.
The move by Adidas, IAAF's largest sponsor, to end its deal will add to the pressure on IAAF President Sebastian Coe, who succeeded Diack in August.
Recent revelations of scandals surrounding FIFA are also of concern to Adidas and its senior management, although the company remains a commercial partner of world football's governing body.
av/cmk (AFP, Reuters)