Sebastian Coe Withdraws from Race for BBC Leadership Role

Marjorie Scardino among front-runners for BBC Trust chairmanship

Sebastian Coe Withdraws from Race BBC
Ben A. Pruchnie/Getty Images

LONDON — Sebastian Coe, who has been the favorite to succeed as chairman of the BBC’s governing body, the BBC Trust, has withdrawn from the race.

Coe, who masterminded the London 2012 Olympics and is chairman of the British Olympic Assn., told the Daily Mail he wants to stand instead for the presidency of the International Assn. of Athletics Federations.

Coe, who won Olympic gold medals in the 1,500 meters in 1980 and 1984, said: “I did allow my name to go forward to give myself time to properly analyze whether I had enough time to do the job to the best of my abilities.

“On reflection, I haven’t the capacity and I now want to concentrate on my current commitments, and the IAAF election. As everyone knows, athletics is in my DNA.”

Other runners for the BBC job include Marjorie Scardino, the former chief executive of Pearson, which owns the Financial Times, and Channel 4 chairman Terry Burns, according to the Guardian.

The previous chairman, Chris Patten, resigned in May after major heart surgery.