Athletics has received another major blow after adidas, the IAAF's biggest sponsor, informed the athletics' world governing body of its decision to terminate its multi-million dollar sponsorship deal four years early.
The move is understood to be a direct result of the doping and corruption scandals currently sweeping the sport and could cost the IAAF and its commercial partner Dentsu tens of millions of dollars.
The IAAF and adidas signed a partnership deal in 2008 reported to be worth £23 million. According to the BBC, adidas bosses contacted the IAAF last week regarding their intention of ending the relationship early.
The news will no doubt come as a major blow to Lord Coe, the president of the governing body, who is trying to revive the sport amid an unprecedented doping and corruption crisis. Finding a major new sponsor when athletics is under scrutiny adds another significant hurdle for him to clear.
Until now adidas has declined to comment about the doping and corruption currently plaguing the athletics industry. But it seems they have become anxious about the damaging impact of being closely linked with the sport.
It is understood the company believes the doping revelations constitute a breach of their agreement with the IAAF, although the body could challenge this ruling in the courts.
Both camps have issued short statements referencing the 'reform process' currently under way and said they were 'in close contact' with each other.