LONDON – Describing the latest doping allegations leveled against track and field as a "declaration of war," Sebastian Coe rushed to the defense of the IAAF's drug-testing system Tuesday and said it was time to "come out fighting" to protect the reputation of the sport.
In an exclusive interview with The Associated Press, Coe gave his first extensive comments following reports by German and British media outlets alleging that the IAAF had failed to act on suspicious blood tests involving hundreds of athletes over a 10-year period.
"It is a declaration of war on my sport," Coe, an IAAF vice president, told the AP. "I take pretty grave exception to that. This, for me, is a fairly seminal moment. There is nothing in our history of competence and integrity in drug-testing that warrants this kind of attack. We should not be cowering. We should come out fighting."