LONDON (Reuters) - IAAF president Sebastian Coe has described as "abhorrent" allegations that people in the sport have extorted money from competitors guilty of doping violations.
He also denied again that the governing body had been complacent in its handling of doping cases, as claimed by Britain's Sunday Times newspaper and Germany broadcaster ARD.
"That people in our sport have allegedly extorted money from athletes guilty of doping violations is abhorrent," said Coe in a statement on Saturday in his first response to the latest crisis to hit the sport.
Coe's comments came after French authorities this week placed former IAAF president Lamine Diack under formal investigation on suspicion of corruption and money laundering.
Diack, 82, is alleged to have received over one million euros ($1.09 million) in bribes in 2011 to cover up positive doping tests of Russian athletes, the office of France's financial prosecutor said.
(Editing by Tony Jimenez)