On Tuesday, January 10, David Bedford, one of Great Britians' finest runners and one of the former director of the Virgin London Marathon, spoke to the Culture, Media & Sports Cultrue Committee. He was asked to relate the circumstances of his forwarding of information on the Russian athlete Shobukhova and Russian doping. Per Seb Coe's earlier discussion with Parliament, Coe noted that he did not read Bedford's note or comments, but forwarded them on the IAAF Ethics Committee.
When queried, per an article in Reuters (http://www.reuters.com/article/us-sport-doping-coe-idUSKBN14U28A), David Bedford told Parliament that he was 'disappointed' in Seb Coe's response. The Culture, Media & Sport Committee has apparently requested Mr. Coe's presence once again. The IAAF has already responded that Mr. Coe has no more information for the Committee and does not show a willingness to once again participate.
What is this about?
Seb Coe lives in a different world than most of us. The IAAF is under nearly constant scrutiny. Since Lord Coe has been in office, any gaff he has made has been multiplied in the British and global press. They are annoyed in his responses to various situations.
I still believe that, even with some of his miscues, Seb Coe is changing the IAAF and the global sport. Surely, not as fast as many want, but there is change. The battle over Russia being involved in the world of sport is not made up, this is real and Coe has been one of the few that stood up to the global pressure to keep Russia involved in the world of sport.
Why would Seb Coe not read David Bedford's notes on Russian doping and pass it along to the IAAF Ethics committee? Perhaps in Coe's world, with every action being magnified and examined, forwarding the controversial issue to the people he had assigned to handle such situations, allowed him to deal with, what he saw as more pressing issues.
It might not have been the way David Bedford expected Lord Coe to respond. It may have not been how you or I would have responded. But we are not in Coe's circumstances.
Seb Coe is a sport politician playing on the global stage. The IAAF is the second largest sport in the world, period. Nearly everyone runs, jumps and throws. The identity with the Olympics is unmistakable. It is our greatest promise and greatest challenge. Coe has the wherewithal to change the sport, as he has been athlete, sports politician and marketer.
With Olivier Gers, the new IAAF CEO, Seb Coe has found a person who will allow Coe to focus on the challenges of growing the sport. Providing transparency in a global sports organization like the IAAF is no mean feat. An organization like the IAAF has many moving parts, and changing such an organization takes time.
We will have to see how Seb Coe responds to this latest situation.
Of course, the stories will be now on how Parliament is demanding Seb Coe visit them once again.
We will have to see on that one.