Sebastian Coe, President elect of the International Association of Athletics Federations (IAAF), once again defended his sport against charges of widespread doping here at the final press conference jointly held with Chinese organisers of the World Championships.
Speaking shortly before he took over as President at the end of the Championships, Coe responded sharply to a question asking whether track and field would be a clean sport in future.
“It is ostensibly a clean sport,” Coe said.
“We have our challenges, nobody sitting here would deny that.
"And it is a global challenge that every sport faces.
"Can it be cleaner? I hope so.
"Are there things which we can do differently in future? I dare say so.
“But there is nothing in our history which should lead you to conclude that we haven’t done everything within our gift and our power to do as much in that area as possible."
Asked how he proposed to act in the anti-doping field, he replied: “We will continue to do what we are doing.
"I have looked at measures to introduce, maybe in some areas, greater levels of independence.
“Clean athletes have to absolutely know that we are in their corner, and words are not enough, we need to have a practical application, and that will be thought through in the next few months.”
Lamine Diack, the outgoing President, praised the organisers of the 15th IAAF World Championships:
“We can see that the Beijing World Championships is very successful, and as the current President of the IAAF I am very satisfied with the organisation of this competition, I would like to express my gratitude and congratulations to the Local Organising Committee.
“Here at the Bird’s Nest we have seen a lot of amazing performances.
"We have a world record and 11 new Championship records.
"The results we have gained through this championship will be written down in history.”
Coe added: “It is imperative that we engage with more young people in our sport.
"One of the many concerns that we have recognised is that there is often the argument that a lot of young people are not taking up the sport because they are obsessed with screen-based activities.
"Actually therein lies our big opportunity.
“Raw data from these Championships around the use of social media, internet and the IAAF App is extremely encouraging.
"Our website was accessed in over 237 countries', mobile traffic was up 224 per cent and our tablet traffic up 45 per cent from the 2013 World Championships.
"The Beijing 2015 website attracted over two million unique users, with 30 per cent more page views than in 2013.
"Our Facebook site had a 6.3 per cent rise in traffic.
"The top post was Usain Bolt in the 100 metres, which was 3.3 million, and our overall reach was 11 million.
"This is a very good start.”
Coe thanked the outgoing President for his “unflinching support and his wise counsel” since he had joined the Council in 2003.
“We are all extremely grateful to you for the shrewd stewardship of our sport during the 16 years in which you have been President.”
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