German sportswear company Adidas has confirmed today that it is ending its sponsorship agreement with the International Association of Athletics Federations (IAAF) three years early – with news on a new sponsor expected “shortly”.
The announcement comes on the eve of an IAAF Special Congress vote on a package of reforms designed to make the federation more transparent and democratic in the wake of the scandals which have left former President Lamine Diack facing allegations of corruption from French police.
When the full extent of the charges laid against the IAAF leadership came out last November, it was reported that Adidas would be ending its 11-year deal, reportedly worth $33million (£26million/€31million) and due to end in 2019.
"Adidas and the IAAF have agreed to terminate their existing partnership agreement in mutual agreement at the end of 2016," Adidas said in a statement.
"We would like to thank the IAAF for a successful and professional co-operation and we wish them all the best for the future.
“Adidas will continue to remain committed to the sport of athletics by putting a higher focus on individual athletes as part of its company strategy."
The IAAF issued a statement thanking Adidas for its long-standing support.
"While our commercial relationship concludes at the end of 2016, the IAAF is pleased that Adidas remains committed to Athletics," the statement said.
“The IAAF will shortly make an announcement of a new Official IAAF partner in the same category."
Adidas is one of the IAAF's official partners along with Canon, Toyota, Seiko, TDK, TBS and Mondo.
The partnership between the IAAF and Adidas incorporated "every aspect of athletics, from product creation, to grassroots development and retail distribution", according to a press release that accompanied the deal announcement in 2008.