Cor­rup­tion-hit IAAF adopts Coe’s re­forms

Kuwait Times - - SPORTS -

The IAAF yes­ter­day unan­i­mously adopted a re­form pack­age drawn up by pres­i­dent Se­bas­tian Coe in a bid to end “grotesque” cor­rup­tion that has rocked track and field’s govern­ing body.

In a Spe­cial Congress in Monaco, 182 mem­ber fed­er­a­tions voted for the re­forms, with 10 against and five in­valid votes. Some 197 of the IAAF’s 213 mem­ber fed­er­a­tions were present.

“Let me thank you for the con­fi­dence that you have shown the Coun­cil to­day in the re­form pro­pos­als that you have agreed to. This is a very im­por­tant mo­ment in the his­tory of our sport,” said Coe. Coe’s re­forms, with a nod to dis­graced pre­de­ces­sor Lamine Di­ack’s abuse of the pres­i­dency, in­clude strip­ping him­self of some pow­ers, with the pres­i­dent and IAAF Coun­cil not al­lowed to serve more than 12 years and with more checks put in place.

They also push for gen­der bal­ance, hand­ing athletes a greater voice and cru­cially es­tab­lish­ing an in­de­pen­dent in­tegrity unit that would man­age all anti-dop­ing mat­ters and be re­spon­si­ble for greater in­tel­li­gence gath­er­ing.

Since Coe took of­fice in Au­gust 2015, the IAAF has been mired in the fall-out from the pres­i­dency Di­ack, at the cen­tre of a cor­rup­tion scan­dal in which sev­eral for­mer se­nior IAAF of­fi­cials were found to have bribed Russian athletes to keep quiet over pos­i­tive dop­ing tests.

Coe ad­mit­ted that the re­forms had not been to ev­ery­one’s taste, all the while prais­ing the “civilised dis­course” and the “clar­ity and hon­esty of di­a­logue”.

“The fun­da­men­tal prin­ci­ples, I be­lieve, have broad sup­port,” said the Bri­ton, a two-time Olympic 1500m gold medal­list. “On gen­der bal­ance, a num­ber of ar­eas told me they needed more time - you’ve got it. “I want checks and bal­ances in place... I don’t want to be in an of­fice choos­ing car­pets and sign­ing off ex­penses. “I would not ask for change if I didn’t think we needed it.”

Coe’s bold stance on gen­der equal­ity en­vis­ages the 26-mem­ber Coun­cil tran­si­tion­ing to half-men, half-women by 2023. At the 2019 Coun­cil elec­tion, he wants a min­i­mum of nine of each gen­der elected in­clud­ing two vice-pres­i­dents of each gen­der.

In­dica­tive of the ground shift that will en­tail was that just three of the 42 mem­ber fed­er­a­tions who ad­dressed the Congress be­fore the vote were women, no­tably Paula Rad­cliffe rep­re­sent­ing Bri­tain and also in­clud­ing rep­re­sen­ta­tives from the Cook Is­lands and the Turks and Caicos.

No­table vot­ing against the re­forms were Saudi Ara­bia while Qatar, the host of the 2019 World Ath­let­ics Cham­pi­onships and 2022 Foot­ball World Cup, voted for.

Ab­stainees in­cluded Lamine Di­ack’s Sene­gal, vice-pres­i­dent Sergey Bubka’s Ukraine and track pow­er­houses Ja­maica, de­spite Usain Bolt pick­ing up a record sixth IAAF Ath­lete of the Year award on Fri­day and throw­ing his weight be­hind Coe. “I know that Seb Coe is try­ing to make track and field more trans­par­ent to ev­ery­one so they can see what shape it is in and to make sure there is not one per­son fully in con­trol,” said Bolt. “That’s a bold move from him as IAAF pres­i­dent.”That’s also helped the sport to make peo­ple more con­fi­dent and to trust the sport more.” —

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