IAAF president Lord Coe has quit his role as an ambassador for Nike.
The head of world athletics’ governing body announced at a press conference in Monaco that he had cut his ties with the American sportswear giant.
“It is clear that perception and reality have become horribly mangled. I have stepped down from the Nike position I have held for 38 years,” he said.
Coe has come under increasing pressure to end his association with Nike – his ambassadorial role was believed to be worth around £100,000 a year – due to possible conflicts of interest arising.
His decision comes two days after allegations surfaced the Coe lobbied for Eugene to host the 2021 World Championships. The American city has close links with Nike and was awarded the championships without a bidding process, despite strong interest from Swedish city Gothenburg.
Coe, who said his decision was not a reaction to those claims, added: “The current noise level around this role is not good for the IAAF and for Nike. It is a distraction to the 18-hour days that I and my teams are working to steady the ship.”