Image: onEdition/Adidas Image: onEdition/Adidas

Adidas has told the IAAF - the world athletics governing body - that it will end its sponsorship deal four years early as a result of the doping scandal.

The IAAF has become embroiled in a doping and corruption scandal following a report by an independent commission set up by World Anti-Doping Agency (Wada) which claimed "corruption was embedded" under former president Lamine Diack.

Adidas has not yet commented, but the decision is understood to have been taken at the highest levels within the company.

The IAAF issued a statement, not referring specifically to Adidas, saying is was "in close contact with all its sponsors and partners as we embark on our reform process".

Sources say the German sportswear giant believes the scandal constitutes a breach of the 11 year deal it signed in 2008. Reports suggest the termination of the agreement means the IAAF will lose out on £21 million from its largest sponsor.

This latest twist in the IAAF saga will no doubt add further intense pressure on president Lord Coe. The man who spearheaded the London Olympic Games served as vice-president under Lamine Diack for four years, with the commission's report claiming the organisation's senior leadership must have known about the doping cover-up. However, the chairman of the commission, Dick Pound, said he "couldn't think of anyone better" to lead the IAAF out of the crisis.