The sport has found itself in the midst of a drug scandal once again this week with sprinters Tyson Gay, Asafa Powell and Sherone Simpson all testing positive for banned substances. All three deny any deliberate wrongdoing.
While the future for those three athletes remains unclear, Coe, chairman of the British Olympic Association and vice president of the International Association of Athletics Federations, believes it is time to get tough with anyone proved to be deliberately cheating.
"The thing that makes me most angry is the fact that they're trashing our history," he told the Mail on Sunday. "It's like driving a bulldozer through a war cemetery.
"It is appalling that they don't understand what people like Jesse Owens, Herb Elliot and Fanny Blankers-Koen meant in our sport.
"If you don't understand your history, if you don't understand where you come from, then it might even look acceptable to cheat with drugs. Well, it's bloody not."
Coe is determined to help introduce four-year bans for cheats, rather than the mandetory two years stipulated by the World Anti-Doping Agency (WADA).
"I'm no longer prepared to sit here and say that it's acceptable, because it isn't," he said about two-year bans. "We've got to get rid of the cheats, because if we get rid of them, we'll be giving clean athletes the chance to compete fairly and win things. That's what it's about.
"I recognise that we live in a legal world where a life ban is not going to happen. We would lose that in any court.
"But four years should be the penalty. The proportional damage of a high profile case in my sport is significantly greater than in most other sports. We are different.
"If some sports are happy with two years, that's fine. But we're too high-profile now to withstand this kind of abuse indefinitely. Four years sends a message, it really does affect a career.
"I'm going to fight for this, fight all the way."
WADA president John Fahey has previously spoken of the organisation's desire to introduce four-year bans for serious offences.
Such measures could be in place by 2015.