IAAF President Sebastian Coe will face questions in the British Parliament on blood doping in athletics ©Getty Images

Sebastian Coe’s appearance before British Members of Parliament on the Culture Media and Sport Select Committee is to go ahead tomorrow, even though it will coincide with the House of Commons debate on whether Britain should start airstrikes against Islamic State in Syria.

The timetabling clash is a stroke of luck for the new President of the International Association of Athletics Federations (IAAF), who may well now be spared further uncomplimentary front page headlines at an extremely difficult time for the Olympic Movement’s bedrock sport.

But it appears to mean that MPs on the Committee will be obliged to miss a sizeable part of a debate that will culminate with them being asked to vote on an extension of British military action to the ISIS stronghold of Raqqa and surrounding areas.

Coe’s hearing is scheduled to begin at 2.15pm as part of the Committee’s inquiry into blood doping in athletics.

Contacted earlier today, an official confirmed to insidethegames that Wednesday’s committee proceedings, in Portcullis House adjacent to the Palace of Westminster, were unaffected by the Syria debate.

This is even though business originally scheduled for the House of Commons chamber does look set to be scrapped or rescheduled.

An item about the Syria debate on parliament.uk noted that it would start at 11.30am, meaning that if MPs agreed, there would be no oral questions to the Cabinet Office or Prime Minister’s questions; the previously scheduled debate would be held on a future date to be announced.

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Sebastian Coe's appearance before a Culture Media and Sport Select Committee in London on Wednesday is due to coincide with a crucial vote on whether Britain should bomb Syria ©Getty Images

Coe’s appearance will come less than a week after he announced he was stepping down from his much-criticised £100,000 ($151,000/€142,000) a year role with sportswear company Nike, to avoid accusations of conflict of interest with his position as IAAF President.

He also confirmed he would resign as chairman of the British Olympic Association after Rio 2016 so as to concentrate on the IAAF, which is embroiled in allegations of serious corruption involving Coe’s predecessor Lamine Diack and accusations of widespread doping among top athletes.

The Committee launched its blood doping inquiry following the allegations first broadcast by German television channel ARD and The Sunday Times last year.

These led last month to the provisional suspension by the IAAF of the All-Russia Athletics Federation, barring Russian athletes from international competition.

This was after a World Anti-Doping Agency Independent Commission report largely supported the ARD claims. 

A second part of the report, dealing more specifically with the IAAF, is expected in coming weeks.

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