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Barshim, Thiam earn IAAF top honors; Bolt earn’s president’s award

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Neither Mo Farah nor Wayde van Niekerk was the IAAF’s world athlete of the year for 2017. Instead, that honor went to Mutaz Barshim of Qatar.

Bolt was honored instead with the President’s Award, which “recognizes and honors great service to athletics.”

Barshim, a high jumper, won the Diamond League title for the year and owns nine of the best 11 jumps in the world for 2017. He was the first high jumper to leap 2.40m or longer in five consecutive seasons. He was undefeated this season across 11 competitions, capped by the world championships. IAAF President Seb Coe presented Barshim’s trophy.

Belgium’s Nafissatou Thiam was the female winner, after winning last year’s Female Rising Star Award. She won gold at the Rio Olympics in the heptathlon, and followed it up this year with the world championship title. HSH Prince Albert II of Monaco presented Thiam with the award.

“We celebrate your amazing contributions to a phenomenal year of athletics,” Coe said in a speech, according to an IAAF press release. “I’m particularly excited by the young generation of talent which so dramatically came of age on the world stage in 2017. Athletics looks forward to a strong and exciting future safe in your hands.”

The other awards were presented to:

Karsten Warholm, Norway, 400m hurdles – Male Rising Star award

Yulimar Rojas, Venezuela, triple jump – Female Rising Star award

Anna Botha – Coaching Achievement award (she is best known for coaching van Niekerk)

Cherry Alexander, managing director for the IAAF World Championships London 2017 – Women in Athletics award

Paul Sanwell, photographer – Athletics Photograph of the Year award (for his photo of Sally Pearson in the 100m hurdles semifinal at the world championships)

More: Emma Coburn, Sam Kendricks win USATF Athlete of the Year awards

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

Seb Coe splits from Nike as IAAF president

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International Association of Athletics Federation (IAAF) President Sebastian Coe announced in a press conference Thursday that he dropped his sponsorship deal with Nike, according to reports.

He was sponsored by the brand going back to his days as a professional athlete – he won the 1,500m in 1980 and 1984. His role at Nike included acting as an international advisor and campaign ambassador for “Designed to Move,” aimed at tackling lethargy, Sports Illustrated said.

Coe was voted into office as IAAF president in August for a four-year term, but had since been under scrutiny by British media over the potential conflict of interest. Previously, he acted as the head of the London 2012 Olympic Organizing Committee.

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