By Mitch Phillips
LONDON (Reuters) - The head of world athletics Sebastian Coe has denied that he misled a British Parliamentary committee investigating doping in sport when he appeared before it last December.
Central to Coe's evidence was his insistence that he did not know the specific detail of an email sent to him by former London Marathon race director David Bedford, which Coe says he sent to the IAAF Ethics Commission without opening the attachments.
Bedford told the Parliamentary Committee this month that he was surprised to hear that Coe had not read the attachments of the 2014 mail and committee chairman Damian Collins said Bedford's evidence had raised questions over "the timing and extent of Lord Coe's knowledge of these allegations".
A mail sent by Coe to Michael Beloff, head of the Ethics Committee, and released by the Parliamentary Committee on Wednesday, suggested the IAAF President was aware of the detail of the allegations.
Coe's mail to Beloff referred to the receipt "documentation of serious allegations being made by and on behalf of the Russian female athlete (Liliya) Shobukhova from David Bedford".
"The purpose of this note is of course to advise you that I have now been made aware of the allegations," Coe added.
Coe, however, said he did not know the specifics of Bedford's claim and explained why in a four-page email to Collins this week which was made public by the committee (www.parliament.uk/documents/commons-committees/culture-media-and-sport/Correspondence/Lord-Coe-to-Chair-re-David-Bedford-evidence-26-01-2017.pdf).
"I wish to confirm that to the best of my recollection I was not aware prior to December 2014 of the allegations that Papa Massata Diack/others associated with the IAAF were involved in covering up Russian doping," Coe, who was an IAAF vice-president at the time before being elected president in 2015, wrote.
"This is even though I accept that in August 2014 David Bedford emailed me documents containing allegations along those lines," he added.
"I trust this clarifies the matter to the satisfaction of the committee and as such there are no grounds for suggesting I misled the committee in any way."
(Editing by Ed Osmond)