For 11 years Adidas sportswear has been one of the biggest supporters of the International Association of Athletics Federations (IAAF). But that relationship has just come to an abrupt end, a direct result, it is said, of the IAAF’s developing doping and corruption scandal.
Not only is Adidas rescinding its support of the association, it is bowing out nearly four years early on its current commitment.
According to CNBC, Adidas feels the apparent corruption in the IAAF violates its agreement with the group.
The deal not scheduled to sunset until 2019 was reportedly worth at least $33 million but according to the BBC it may be more than that, perhaps as much as $8 million a year when all the earnings are tallied.
“As one of the largest kit suppliers in the world, sponsorship is vital to Adidas,” Sports finance expert Rob Wilson told BBC Sport. “However, it is fair to say the impact of athletics sponsorship is declining and they are moving toward football as a more important area of growth.”
The BBC also reports the German-based sportswear company informed the IAAF of its decision as early as last November.
The IAAF has other sponsors, such as Canon, Toyota, Seiko, TDK, TBS and Mondo. But Adidas acted as its biggest sponsor.
IAAF has been inundated with reports and accusations of corruption for some time. Last year a commission for the World Anti-Doping Council (WADA) reported that it found widespread, state-sponsored doping in Russia. Then, this year the commission accused the IAAF of having “embedded corruption” cascading from president Lamine Diack and filtering down through the organization.
Diack and his son, Papa Massata, are also both being investigated by French police over the corruption allegations.
The doping scandal has reached across the world to athletes in many countries. In August twenty-eight athletes tested positive and now face disciplinary actions after tests from 2005 and 2007 were reanalyzed with more thorough testing.
At the same time two Kenyan runners tested positive for drugs at the world championships.
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