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[GENEVA] Nestle SA, the world's largest food company, ended its sponsorship of an IAAF children's development program after allegations of corruption and doping were made against international athletics' governing body.
Negative publicity caused by the allegations "could negatively impact our reputation and image," the Vevey, Switzerland-based company said in an e-mailed statement. Nestle's partnership with the IAAF's Kids Athletics program dates back to 2012.
In August, the World Anti-Doping Agency said it would investigate more than a decade of track-and-field drug tests after the Sunday Times and German broadcaster ARD alleged widespread doping within the sport. Both media organizations cited an IAAF database leaked by a whistle-blower containing 12,000 blood tests of 5,000 athletes from 2001 to 2012.
The IAAF said Aug 11 it's taking disciplinary action against 28 athletes after it re-tested urine samples from the 2005 and 2007 world athletics championships. The group is "angered and dismayed" by Nestle's decision, which it won't accept, IAAF President Sebastian Coe said in an e-mailed statement.
Nestle has informed the IAAF of its decision and is awaiting "a formal acknowledgment from them that our partnership has ended," the Swiss company said.
Another IAAF sponsor, German sportswear maker Adidas AG, said Jan 25 it has a "clear anti-doping policy" and is in contact with the IAAF to learn about what reforms it plans. The company declined to confirm or deny a BBC report last month that Adidas is ending its IAAF sponsorship agreement four years early, which would result in tens of millions of dollars of lost income to the organization.