British Olympic gold medallist Linford Christie OBE thinks there needs to be "a purge" at the International Association of Athletics Federations (IAAF). The retired gold medal-winning sprinter is a long-time critic of the sport's governing body, and has called for a dramatic overhaul of the organisation amid the ongoing doping crisis.
Christie said that Lord Coe, current president of the IAAF, must decide whether he is the right man to continue leading the body. Last week (14 January 2016), Lord Coe received the backing of the the former head of the World Anti-Doping Agency, Dick Pound, after an independent report claimed that the body, including its president, could not have been unaware of the extent of doping in athletics.
"It's not for me to say [he should resign], it's for him to know. I think it's for him to make that decision. The sport needs to be clear, there needs to be total transparency and I think that's the only way. I said the IAAF was corrupt way back in 2000 and it's all coming to light now," Christie said, according to The Times.
Christie – who was handed a two-year ban from the sport in 1999 after testing positive for nandrolone – said the IAAF needs to become more transparent in its affairs. He also insisted that the current batch of officials who are responsible for running the sport's governing body need to be moved on.
"The IAAF needs to open its doors, and go into safes and cupboards and start from scratch. When you lose trust, you have got to start from the bottom so the public can see [you are saying] 'This is what we are doing. We are clearing up. There is no other way. We need a purge'," he said.
Christie's remarks come shortly after Jo Pavey, the reigning European 10,000m champion, questioned whether the sport is able to regulate itself after the governing body was accused of trying to cover up doping by Russian athletes.
"As athletes at the moment, we've all lost confidence in the IAAF, and we don't trust them to police our sport as far as anti-doping and looking after the interests of clean athletes," she previously said.