Lord Coe wants tough action on all involved in using drugs in athletics
Lord Coe thinks it's time to get tough with coaches found guilty of playing a part in athletes' positive drugs tests.
Last Updated: 24/07/13 2:25pm
His comments come after the sport has been rocked in recent days with the news that top sprinters Asafa Powell and Tyson Gay have failed drugs tests.
While Coe believes the reputation of athletics runs the risk of being hit hard by such positive tests, he insists it is a price worth paying to have credibility in the sport.
He told Sky Sports News: "When you do the right thing, you have to recognise occasionally that is comes with a competitive disadvantage and the competitive disadvantage for doing the right thing in the last year in track and field has been the reputation, that you run the risk of hitting hard when you weed out cheats.
"Now we're still waiting for 'B' samples to be opened up but in a way, set that aside.
"The issues that we're dealing with are not co-incidental or random - it is because we've stepped up the testing, the technology is better, the testing is more intelligent and intuitive and we know who we're actually looking at and who we're actually going for.
"So the question I guess I would least want from any of you guys (journalists), and you've heard me say this before, is 'Why didn't you do something 10 years ago when you could have done?'
"I would rather take the hit now and move towards a sport that has credibility and trust, then sitting there in 10 years' time where everybody thinks they're watching American wrestling - they know its fake and frankly they don't care.
"So it is really important this is a fight that we don't lose and it's a fight that we can win.
"But if you say to me 'Are we going to have to be forever vigilant about it?' Yes of course we are. 'Do we have to get smarter with what we are doing?' Yes."
Lord Coe added it was not just an issue focused on athletes.
"Let's get tough with physios, let's get tough with coaches, let's get tough with managers and agents because they're all part of this landscape.
"This isn't just something that we should be entirely focusing on the athlete, important as they are and responsible for everything they consume or ingest."