Sebastian Coe ally Nick Davies sacked for lying over secret payments

• Davies found not guilty of corruption but admits he ‘had not been truthful’
• Email from 2014 from Coe said: ‘I have been made aware of allegations’

Lord Coe’s closest confidant, Nick Davies, has been sacked from his job at athletics’ governing body after lying to investigators about receiving secret payments totalling €30,000 from the disgraced former IAAF marketing executive Papa Massata Diack. However Davies, who was named Coe’s chief of staff when he became IAAF president in 2015, will be allowed to work in track and field again after the sport’s ethics board found him not guilty of corruption.

The decision came on a day when Coe faced renewed questions over when he became aware of corruption within the International Association of Athletics Federations, after fresh emails showed him referring to “serious allegations” involving the Russian athlete Liliya Shobukhova in August 2014 – four months before they became public.

Coe has always maintained that he only knew Shobukhova was blackmailed by senior figures within the IAAF – including Massata Diack, who was later banned for life – when they were broadcast by the German TV station ARD in December 2014.

But an email published by the culture, media and sport select committee from Coe to Michael Beloff, the head of the IAAF ethics board, from August 2014 appears to cast doubt on that account. In the email Coe tells Beloff: “I have in the last couple of days received copied documentation of serious allegations being made by and on behalf of the Russian female athlete Shobukhova from David Bedford … The purpose of this note is of course to advise you that I have now been made aware of the allegations.”

Coe, however, insists that the emergence of his email to Beloff does not change anything because he did not open the attachment that Bedford, the former 10,000m world record holder, sent him, which contained the details.

In a letter to Damian Collins, the chair of the CMS, Coe said: “To the best of my recollection I was not prior to December 2014 aware of the allegations that Papa Massata Diack/others associated with the IAAF were involved in covering up Russian doping. I did not read David Bedford’s documents but asked my office to forward them to the person and commission with exclusive authority to investigate.”

Meanwhile Davies will not be allowed to return to the IAAF after telling the ethics board he “had not been truthful” and had “misled” it over receiving secret payments from Massata Diack.

In his evidence Davies was forced to reveal that he was given payments of €25,000 and then €5,000 in cash by Massata Diack in envelopes. That confession came only after a leaked email from Massata Diack revealed that he had been paid for drawing up secret plans to delay naming Russian dopers before the 2013 world championships in Moscow and to “stop all attacks from the UK press” – and that part of the payment was to assuage his wife Jane Boultier-Davies, who worked in the IAAF’s anti-doping department and was raising questions about Russian doping. Boultier-Davies admitted receiving some of the money but denied it had affected her work in the anti-doping department.

The ethics board ruled that both were not guilty of corruption. In his evidence Davies said he was “never aware of any coordinated efforts to subvert anti-doping procedures and to extort money” from Shobukhova. He added: “I should have said that I had received money. But I was afraid that I might then be suspected of involvement in the extortion scheme and decided, wrongly, to deny that I had received any money.”


Sean Ingle

The GuardianTramp

Related Content

Article image
IAAF deputy general secretary Nick Davies stands down over leaked email
Sebastian Coe’s closest aide Nick Davies has stepped aside from his position at athletics’ governing body and submitting himself to an investigation by the IAAF’s ethics commission

Sean Ingle

22, Dec, 2015 @6:48 PM

Article image
Sebastian Coe and IAAF get tough on Russia but his own weak spot remains
The IAAF president is leading from the front as he likes to but he needs to share the load at a time when athletics is facing arguably its biggest challenge

Owen Gibson in Vienna

17, Jun, 2016 @7:27 PM

Article image
Russian doping scandal: Sebastian Coe faces new crisis over aide’s leaked email
IAAF president Sebastian Coe is facing a fresh crisis after emails were leaked showing that his right-hand man knew about a number of Russian doping cases in 2013

Sean Ingle

21, Dec, 2015 @9:36 PM

Article image
Sebastian Coe’s ‘roadmap to reform’ endangered by wreckage left by old regime
With each fresh development, it appears more difficult for the new IAAF president to leap free of a past to which – like it or not – he remains bound

Owen Gibson

07, Jan, 2016 @7:58 PM

Article image
Sebastian Coe poses a very British challenge to Russia’s widespread doping | Barney Ronay
Deciding not to boycott the 1980 Olympics in Moscow was easy compared to the diplomatic nightmare Sebastian Coe now faces

Barney Ronay

13, Nov, 2015 @3:46 PM

Article image
Dick Pound held Sebastian Coe’s IAAF career at his mercy – and let him live
A week that started with Sebastian Coe on the ropes ended with him being revived as the former Wada president backed him to lead reform at the IAAF

Sean Ingle

14, Jan, 2016 @9:43 PM

Article image
Sebastian Coe admits IAAF is a ‘failed organisation’ but is backed to reform it
Sebastian Coe has admitted he presides over a ‘failed organisation’ after the IAAF was subjected to further coruscating criticism in the latest Wada report

Owen Gibson in Munich

14, Jan, 2016 @8:12 PM

Article image
Sebastian Coe warns Russia faces longer athletics ban for failing to tackle doping
Sebastian Coe, president of the International Association of Athletics Federations, said Russia is facing a longer ban from the sport for failing to tackle its tainted doping system

Sean Ingle

13, Apr, 2017 @8:50 PM

Article image
Inside the IAAF: who knew what and when
Senior figures inside the IAAF, such as Lamine Diack, have been implicated in the Russian blood-doping scandal which dates back at least to 2009

Sean Ingle

14, Jan, 2016 @7:38 PM

Article image
D-Day for athletics as the IAAF has to decide whether to ban Russia
The IAAF president Sebastian Coe is coming under increasing pressure to make a stand while a majority of 26 of the body’s members must vote to provisionally suspend Russia

Owen Gibson

12, Nov, 2015 @7:48 PM