Food and beverage company pulls out of partnership with IAAF Kids’ Athletics programme “in light of negative publicity associated with allegations of corruption and doping in sport made against the IAAF”

Nestlé has decided to terminate its sponsorship deal with the International Association of Athletics Federations (IAAF), the food and beverage company announced on Wednesday.

The news follows reports last month that Adidas was planning to end its sponsorship deal with athletics’ world governing body almost four years early.

“We have decided to end our partnership with the IAAF Kids’ Athletics programme with immediate effect,” read a statement from Nestlé, which became the main sponsor of the programme in 2012.

“This decision was taken in light of negative publicity associated with allegations of corruption and doping in sport made against the IAAF.

“We believe this could negatively impact our reputation and image and will therefore terminate our existing agreement with the IAAF, established in 2012.”

Nestlé added that after informing the IAAF of its decision, the company now awaits formal acknowledgment from the governing body that the partnership has ended.

When announcing the five-year sponsorship deal in 2012, the IAAF said: “Under the terms of the agreement, Nestlé will provide financial support for the further worldwide development of IAAF Kids’ Athletics which is one of the biggest grassroots development programmes in the world of sports. The Nestlé sponsorship will further boost the programme allowing the IAAF to organise additional courses for lecturers and coaches and eventually to reach a larger number of kids in existing or new markets.”

Responding to Nestlé’s plans to pull out of the partnership, the IAAF said in a statement: “The IAAF is in discussion with Nestlé concerning the final year of its five year partnership with IAAF Kids’ Athletics.

“This has been a successful programme with 15 million kids aged 7 to 12 years in 76 countries taking part in fun team activities which promotes a healthy, active life style.

“In 2016 IAAF Kids’ Athletics plans to reach a further 15 countries, training 360 lecturers, instructing 8640 Physical Education teachers, with three million children participating by the end of the activation.”

A comment from IAAF president Seb Coe read: “Angered and dismayed by today’s kids’ athletics announcement. We will not accept it. It’s the kids who will suffer.”