IAAF in Monaco on track for reform

HSS Prince Albert with IAAF World Athletes of the Year Almaz Ayana and Usain Bolt , and IAAF President Seb Coe. Photo: Facebook IAFF
HSS Prince Albert with IAAF World Athletes of the Year Almaz Ayana and Usain Bolt , and IAAF President Seb Coe. Photo: Facebook IAFF

The International Association of Athletics Federations (IAAF), meeting in Monaco on Saturday, successfully adopted a comprehensive reform package to combat its reputational problems in the wake of major doping and corruption scandals.

IAAF President Sebastian Coe said that the 182 to 10 vote was “a very important moment in the history of our sport”. He added: “This is a ringing endorsement of our commitment to do things differently. We now have structures, frameworks and foundations that will create a safety net.”

An “integrity unit” and a disciplinary panel will be introduced, according to the plan.

Mr Coe’s predecessor, Lamine Diack, is currently under house arrest in France, suspected of taking money to keep quiet about allegations of systematic doping by Russian athletes.

However, Saturday’s meeting came too late for sportswear company Adidas, which on Friday confirmed it would be ending sponsorship of the IAAF, despite strenuous efforts by the international governing body to keep the firm on board.

The deal was due to run until 2019 and was worth tens of millions of dollars. Meanwhile, the IAAF announced on Saturday a multiple-year partnership with the global designer and manufacturer of sporting goods ASICS.

ASICS President and CEO Motoi Oyama stated: “I am so happy to have the honour of supporting the IAAF as an Official Partner. We at ASICS hope to both develop excellent products and contribute to the growth the sporting world as a whole by supporting athletics around the globe as an Official Partner of the IAAF.”

At the IAAF’s awards ceremony Friday evening in Monaco, HSH Prince Albert presented the IAAF Male World Athlete of the Year Award 2016 to Usain Bolt, while Ethiopian Almaz Ayana, who “shattered” the 10,000-metres world record that had stood for 23 years at the Rio Olympics, won the female category.

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