By Mitch Phillips
LONDON (Reuters) – German sportswear company Adidas AG is to end its 11-year sponsorship deal with the International Association of Athletics Federations (IAAF) almost four years early, the BBC reported on Sunday.
The BBC said Adidas, the biggest sponsor of the sport’s governing body, decided against continuing with the contract as a direct result of the doping and corruption scandal that emerged in December last year and continues to dog athletics.
The BBC also said Adidas considers the accusations of corruption within the organisation a breach of their agreement with the IAAF.
Reuters has been unable to independently confirm the report.
Calls placed late on Sunday to Adidas and the IAAF were not immediately returned. Neither organisation commented to the BBC on the report.
The BBC, citing anonymous sources, said the sponsorship deal, signed in November 2008, was worth around $8 million (5.61 million pounds) per year.
Adidas is one of the IAAF’s “Official Partners” along with Canon, Toyota, Seiko, TDK, TBS and Mondo.
If confirmed, the disclosure represents the latest in a series of setbacks for the Monaco-based IAAF.
Late last year an independent commission for the World Anti-Doping Council (WADA) revealed widespread, state-sponsored doping in Russia. Last week the commission released a second report on its investigations that accused the IAAF of having “embedded corruption” at the very top of the organisation under former president Lamine Diack.
Diack and his son, Papa Massata, are both under investigation by French police over corruption allegations. Both men have denied wrongdoing.
($1 = 0.7011 pounds)
(Editing by: Peter Rutherford)