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IAAF denies allegations against Sebastian Coe

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LONDON (AP) – The IAAF dismissed allegations Thursday that Sebastian Coe was aware of details of a Russian doping corruption case four months before it became public, or that he enlisted support for his presidential campaign from a key figure in the sport’s current doping scandal.

The BBC’s Panorama program and the Daily Mail reported the allegations against Coe, who is now IAAF president, a day before he chairs a meeting in Vienna to decide whether to uphold the ban on Russian track and field athletes.

The media reports said Coe received an email in August 2014 detailing allegations about Russian marathoner Liliya Shobukhova being extorted out of hundreds of thousands of dollars to have a positive doping test covered up so she could compete in the 2012 London Olympics.

Coe, who was a vice president of the IAAF at the time, received the email from London Marathon director Dave Bedford. The allegations became public four months later when they were aired in a documentary by German broadcaster ARD in December 2014.

The BBC and Daily Mail accused Coe of misleading a British parliamentary committee in December 2015 when he said “we were not aware – I was certainly not aware – of the specific allegations that has been made around the corruption of anti-doping processes in Russia.”

The IAAF said in a statement that Coe did receive an email from Bedford that included attachments related to an issue being investigated by the ethics commission.

“This was enough for Seb Coe to forward the email to the ethics commission,” the statement said. “He did not feel it was necessary to read the attachments. You may think this shows a lack of curiosity. He, and we, would argue that it shows a full duty of care. Ensuring the right people in the right place were aware of allegations and were investigating them.”

“Seb has never denied hearing rumors about corruption,” the IAAF added. “In fact he has said on many occasions that when alerted to rumors he asked people to pass them on to the ethics commission to be investigated.”

The BBC and Daily Mail also alleged that Coe won the IAAF presidency with the help of Papa Massata Diack, son of disgraced former IAAF President Lamine Diack. The elder Diack is being investigated by French prosecutors on corruption charges linked to cover-ups of Russian doping cases. His son, who worked as an IAAF marketing consultant, is also wanted in connection with the allegations.

The media outlets obtained text messages allegedly showing how Papa Massata Diack helped secure African votes for Coe, who defeated Ukraine’s Sergei Bubka 115-92 in last year’s election.

The younger Diack said he met Coe three times during the campaign.

“If he had not the blessing of Lamine Diack or my support, he would have never been elected as the IAAF president,” he told the BBC. “He knows that.”

The IAAF dismissed Diack’s claims.

“The suggestion that Seb Coe was actively seeking Papa Massata Diack’s advice about his campaign is wrong,” the statement said. “As with any campaign, lots of people offer advice – wanted or not, some helpful, some not. You try to be civil but wary.”

“This was the case with Mr. Diack,” the IAAF said. “He sent messages of support while at the same time supporting other candidates and accusing Seb Coe of leading a British media campaign against both him and his father.”

MORE: Russian athletes, state accused of obstructing drug tests

Tadej Pogacar stuns Primoz Roglic, set to win Tour de France

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Tadej Pogacar overtook countryman Primoz Roglic and is set to become the youngest Tour de France champion since 1904, the second-youngest in history and the first Slovenian champion.

Pogacar, who turns 22 on Monday, overcame a 57-second deficit to Roglic and won Saturday’s penultimate stage, a 22-mile time trial with a finishing four-mile climb. He is 59 seconds ahead of Roglic after three weeks and 84 hours of total racing.

“Actually, my dream was just to be [in] the Tour de France,” Pogacar said. “I cannot believe it, and if you ask me in one week, one month, I will still not believe it, probably.”

Pogacar won the stage by 81 seconds, greater than the margin separating second place from eighth place after 55 minutes on the roads. Roglic was fifth.

It’s reminiscent of American Greg LeMond surpassing Frenchman Laurent Fignon in the time trial finale of the 1989 Tour.

That final margin was the closest in Tour history — eight seconds. This one would be the 11th time in Tour history that the difference is less than a minute, according to ProCyclingStats.com.

“I struggled with everything, just not enough power,” Roglic said. “I was just more and more without the power that I obviously needed. I was just really giving everything till the end.”

Australian Richie Porte will join Pogacar and Roglic on the podium after moving up from fourth place going into the time trial. Colombian Miguel Angel Lopez, who came into the day in third, dropped to sixth.

It’s the first time since 2007 that everybody on the final Tour de France podium will be there for the first time.

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Sunday’s finale is the traditional ceremonial ride into Paris where the overall leaders don’t attack each other.

Pogacar is riding his first Tour de France and in his second season as a professional cyclist with a World Tour team.

Last September, he finished third in the Vuelta a Espana, one of three Grand Tours, which Roglic won. At the time, Pogacar became the youngest Grand Tour podium finisher since 1974.

“I knew that I can be with the best, that I can follow,” after the Vuelta, Pogacar said, “but I never thought that I would win already this year, especially in this season that was really strange.”

UAE Team Emirates initially planned to use Pogacar to support Fabio Aru, but the Slovenian’s continued emergence changed the plan.

“I’m going [to the Tour] firstly to learn,” Pogacar said in May. “But if I have a chance to show what I can do, I will.”

Pogacar was Robin to Roglic’s Batman for most of this Tour.

Roglic wore the yellow jersey as race leader the last two weeks. heading the dominant Jumbo-Visma team. Pogacar donned the white jersey for the highest-placed rider 25 and under, though he was on a weaker team.

But when they went head-to-head on climbs, Pogacar usually stuck with Roglic, sometimes riding away from him.

When it came down to the final climb on Saturday, with no team support in what they call the race of truth, Pogacar showed who was the strongest Slovenian.

“[Roglic] was really superior through the whole Tour,” Pogacar said. “He must be devastated, but that’s bike racing, I guess. Today I beat him, and that was it.”

MORE: USA Cycling names Olympic team finalists

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2020 Tour de France standings

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2020 Tour de France standings for the yellow jersey, green jersey, white jersey and polka-dot jersey through stage 20 of 21 …

Overall (Yellow Jersey)
1. Tadej Pogacar (SLO) — 84:26:33
2. Primoz Roglic (SLO) — +:59
3. Richie Porte (AUS) — +3:30
4. Mikel Landa (ESP) — +5:58
5. Enric Mas (ESP) — +6:07
6. Miguel Angel Lopez (COL) — +6:47
7. Tom Dumoulin (NED) — +7:48
8. Rigberto Uran (COL) — +8:02
9. Adam Yates (GBR) — +9:25
10. Damiano Caruso (ITA) — +14:03
13. Richard Carapaz (ECU) — +24:44
15. Sepp Kuss (USA) — +42:20
17. Nairo Quintana (COL) — +1:02:46
29. Thibaut Pinot (FRA) — +1:59:33
36. Julian Alaphilippe (FRA) — +2:17:41
DNF. Egan Bernal (COL)

Sprinters (Green Jersey)
1. Sam Bennett (IRL) — 319 points
2. Peter Sagan (SVK) — 264
3. Matteo Trentin (ITA) — 250
4. Bryan Coquard (FRA) — 173
5. Caleb Ewan (AUS) — 158

Climbers (Polka-Dot Jersey)
1. Tadej Pogacar (SLO) — 82 points
2. Richard Carapaz (ECU) — 74
3. Primoz Roglic (SLO) — 67
4. Marc Hirschi (SUI) — 62
5. Miguel Angel Lopez (COL) — 51

Young Rider (White Jersey)
1. Tadej Pogacar (SLO) — 84:26:33
2. Enric Mas (ESP) — +6:07
3. Valentin Madouas (FRA) — +1:42:22
4. Dani Martinez (COL) — +1:54:51
5. Lennard Kamna (GER) — +2:14:33

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