The London 2012 committee chairman insists that tarnishing the reputation of athletics is a price worth paying to weed out drug cheats.
He told Sky Sports News: "When you do the right thing, you have to recognise occasionally that is comes with a competitive disadvantage and the competitive disadvantage for doing the right thing in the last year in track and field has been the reputation, that you run the risk of hitting hard when you weed out cheats.
‘’The issues that we're dealing with are not coincidental or random - it is because we've stepped up the testing, the technology is better, the testing is more intelligent and intuitive and we know who we're actually looking at and who we're actually going for.
"I would rather take the hit now and move towards a sport that has credibility and trust, then sitting there in 10 years time where everybody thinks they're watching American wrestling - they know its fake and frankly they don't care.
"So it is really important this is a fight that we don't lose and it's a fight that we can win."
Lord Coes’ comments come shortly after the news broke of Tyson Gay and Asafa Powell failing drug tests.
He was keen to point out that it’s not just the athletes who should be blamed.
"Let's get tough with physios, let's get tough with coaches, let's get tough with managers and agents because they're all part of this landscape.
"This isn't just something that we should be entirely focusing on the athlete, important as they are and responsible for everything they consume or ingest."
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