Lord Coe's colleague expelled from IAAF post over secret payments scandal

Nick Davies' removal comes as Coe is accused of misleadings MPs on Russian doping scandal.

Lord Sebastian Coe (L), head of the International Association of Athletics Federation (IAAF) arrives with Nick Davies for a meeting in central London on 9 November 2015Adrian Dennis/AFP/Getty Images

Lord Sebastian Coe's chief of staff at the International Association of Athletics Associations (IAAF) has been removed from his post after he admitted to taking €30,000 (£25,000) in secret payments.

Nick Davies, one of Lord Coe's closest colleagues, received the money in cash from Papa Diack, son of former IAAF President Lamine Diack, who resigned in disgrace in 2015, allowing Coe to become president.

When interviewed by an IAAF ethics committee investigating corruption, Davies initially denied receiving the money from Papa Diack. He only confessed later, claiming he was concerned receiving the payment would make him appear corrupt.

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The IAAF has accepted Davies's claim, saying that there is no evidence he acted corruptly and Davies can apply for positions elsewhere within the organisation.

In a statement published by the BBC, Davies said: "I deeply regret misleading the board and am very sorry that my role with the IAAF, which has been a massive part of my life for 24 years, has now come to an end."

The removal of Davies comes as Lord Coe is accused of withholding information from MPs when he was being grilled on the extent of doping within Russian athletics. In December 2015, Coe told the committee he was unaware of specific allegations regarding Russian athletes.

However, in an email to Michael Beloff QC, head of the IAAF ethics board, over a year earlier in August 2014, Coe had written: "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."

In a four-page letter to committee chair Damian Collins MP, Lord Coe denies deception, claiming that he did not open an attachment in the email from Bedford which laid out the specific claims.

According to ITV News, the letter to Collins concludes: "I was not asked when I first knew about the allegations that persons at the IAAF were involved in the cover up of Russian doping cases and I have made clear, I did not read David Bedford's emailed documents but asked my office to forward them."

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