NO MORE NIKE: Lord Sebastian Coe, president of the International Association of Athletics Federations, has given up his paid ambassadorial role at Nike.
His decision came after the BBC discovered an e-mail that raised a conflict of interest issue for the former track-and-field Olympic athlete and gold medal winner.
The email revealed a discussion between Coe and a senior executive from Nike about the successful bid, led by Coe, to host the 2021 World Athletics Championships in Eugene, Ore., Nike’s birthplace.
Coe told British media organizations his decision to leave his ambassadorial role, which he has held for the past 38 years, was not a result of the growing pressure from the news reports.
Rather, he said, it was due to “the current noise level” that was fast becoming a distraction from his current work.
Nike told WWD it had been informed of Coe’s resignation from the ambassador’s role. “Seb has been a Nike athlete since the Seventies, and we are obviously disappointed, but respect his decision,” the company said.
The IAAF did not respond to a request for comment.
The double Olympic gold medalist was elected president of the IAAF in August this year after serving as the organization’s vice president for five years.
In 2012, he also took on a paid consultancy role at Nike to promote the retailer’s anti-obesity campaign, Designed to Move.