WASHINGTON, June 29 (Xinhua) -- The FBI and the Criminal Division of IRS are investigating an alleged corruption case involved in the award of 2021 World Athletics Championships to Eugene, Oregon, according to the BBC.
International Association for Athletic Federations (IAAF) handed the event to the city without a formal bidding process, arousing suspicion from the two agencies. Gothenberg, the Swedish city, who expressed strong interests and demonstrated adequate abilities, however, was not considered as a bidding city due to the absence of the bidding process.
Lord Sebastian Coe, the former president of IAAF, was also an ambassador for Nike with an annual salary around £100,000. Lord Coe allegedly lobbied IAAF and his predecessor, Lamine Diack, who now is under house arrest in France due to corruption allegations, to hand over the event to Eugene, BBC reported.
Eugene is closely associated with Nike, whose birthplace is only a few miles away. University of Oregon, a competitive participator in NCAA, has many of its sports facilities sponsored by Nike. A majority of 2021 Eugene events will take place on the university's premise.
A spokeswoman for the IAAF and Lord Coe said she was unaware of any FBI and IRS probes.