January 22, 2018 / 10:51 AM / 2 months ago

Olympics-FIFA's Infantino, IAAF's Coe unlikely to get IOC nod - source

Jan 22 (Reuters) - FIFA President Gianni Infantino and his world athletics (IAAF) counterpart Sebastian Coe are unlikely to be put up for International Olympic Committee membership next month despite a three-year wait, a source said on Monday.

The two international federations - among the Olympics’ most popular sports - have been snubbed since 2015 as they struggled with wide-scale corruption and doping scandals which tarnished their images.

“My understanding is they will not be recommended,” a source with knowledge of the membership procedure ahead of the IOC session in Pyeongchang, South Korea next month, told Reuters on condition of anonymity.

The IOC elects new members at its annual session with the list of proposed names being published a few days before the vote.

Another snub of two of the world’s biggest sports federations who held IOC seats for decades before 2015 will do little to mend ties that have been strained by the ongoing corruption and doping investigations.

The source said the IOC had discussed the matter of Infantino and Coe and a final decision had yet to be taken but they were “unlikely” to be proposed for membership.

Infantino was elected head of FIFA in 2016 to succeed scandal-plagued Sepp Blatter and lead the federation out of its biggest graft crisis.

Former double Olympic champion Coe took over the IAAF in 2015 as a doping scandal unfolded, severely damaging the organisation’s credibility.

Coe triggered the ire of the IOC when the IAAF blocked Russian track and field athletes from competing at the Rio de Janeiro Olympics last year over the doping affair.

Coe’s predecessor Lamine Diack faces a bribery and embezzlement investigation in France.

Both Blatter and Diack were IOC members until 2015. Blatter’s predecessor at FIFA, Joao Havelange, was an IOC member from 1963 to 2011. Diack’s predecessor, Primo Nebiolo, was also an IOC member. (Reporting by Karolos Grohmann, editing by Ed Osmond)

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