Sebastian Coe, the president of the International Association of Athletics Federations, has said he is “angered and dismayed” by food and beverage company Nestle’s decision to terminate its partnership of the governing body.
Nestle cited the ongoing scandal surrounding the IAAF’s handling of doping allegations in the sport as the reason for curtailing the partnership “with immediate effect.”
“This decision was taken in light of negative publicity associated with allegations of corruption and doping in sport made against the IAAF,” Nestle said. “We believe this could negatively impact our reputation and image and will therefore terminate our existing agreement with the IAAF, established in 2012.”
Nestle had a partnership with the IAAF Kids Athletics programme, and the governing body said: “The IAAF is in discussion with Nestle concerning the final year of its five-year partnership with IAAF Kids’ Athletics. This has been a successful programme with 15 million kids aged seven to 12 years in 76 countries, taking part in fun team activities which promotes a healthy, active lifestyle.”
The program was set to be expanded to a further 15 countries and three million children, the IAAF added. Coe (pictured) responded to Nestle’s announcement by saying: “We will not accept it. It's the kids who will suffer.”
Last month, UK public-service broadcaster the BBC reported that German sportswear company Adidas was set to curtail its partnership deal with the IAAF almost four years early. The move has not been confirmed yet.