Adidas To End IAAF Sponsorship
Adidas To End IAAF Sponsorship: Adidas, the IAAF’s biggest sponsor, has told athletics’ world governing body it is to terminate their sponsorship deal four years early. It is said to be a direct result of the doping scandal sweeping the sport. Earlier this month, the commission’s chairman, Dick Pound, delivered a second, damning report, which revealed that “corruption was embedded” within the IAAF under former president Lamine Diack. Within days, a decision at the highest level in Adidas was taken to terminate the relationship. The 11-year sponsorship deal was signed in 2008 and was due to run until 2019. At the time of signing, it was reported the deal would be worth about $33m (£23m).
It is not clear yet whether the IAAF will attempt to challenge the decision in court, although lawyers within Adidas are understood to be preparing for such a move. The withdrawal of Adidas will come as a major blow to the sport – and to IAAF president Coe – in a time of unprecedented turmoil. Coe succeeded Diack in August last year and has come under pressure over Pound’s report, which said the IAAF – of which Coe was one of four vice-presidents under Diack for seven years – must have been aware of the corruption. Adidas has also expressed its displeasure at the corruption scandal engulfing Fifa, although it remains world football’s governing body’s oldest commercial partner.