International Association of Athletics (IAAF) president Sebastian Coe has broken his silence over bribery claims against his predecessor.
Former president Lamine Diack was placed under official investigation after allegedly receiving almost £1million in bribes in 2011.
The bribes were paid to the 82-year-old Senegalese in a bid to cover up positive doping tests of Russian athletes, according to the office of France’s financial prosecutor.
One of Diack’s sons and three other sports officials, two of who held positions at the IAAF, were also charged with violations by the governing body.
“That people in our sport have allegedly extorted money from athletes guilty of doping violations is abhorrent,” Coe said.
“That they were not able to cover up the doping results is testament to the system that the IAAF and WADA [World Anti-Doping Agency] have jointly put in place.”
Coe added: “Where there are fragilities in the system that may have allowed extortion, no matter how unsuccessful, we will strengthen them.
“And the independent integrity unit which I will establish next month will include an independent tribunal to hear all integrity-related violations committed by international level athletes and their support personnel.
“We will take the hearing process out of the hands of individual member federations.”