New IAAF boss Se­bas­tian Coe has stepped into a storm around per­for­mance en­hance­ment, but be­lieves the fu­ture of world ath­let­ics is bright. re­ports


CityPress - - Sport -

Se­bas­tian Coe – the for­mer Bri­tish mid­dle-dis­tance star who de­feated Ukrainian for­mer pole vaulter Sergey Bubka by a wide mar­gin of 23 votes at the In­ter­na­tional As­so­ci­a­tion of Ath­let­ics Fed­er­a­tions (IAAF) Congress that elected a new lead­er­ship mid­week – had a hard time field­ing ques­tions dur­ing the post­elec­tion con­fer­ence mid­week.

The USA’s ace sprinter, Justin Gatlin, was the media’s key sub­ject.

He is among the ath­letes whose dop­ing vi­o­la­tions have con­trib­uted to the dented im­age of ath­let­ics. Gatlin has recorded the fastest time over the 100m and 200m this year.

He is at the IAAF World Cham­pi­onships de­spite hav­ing been twice banned for dop­ing, and is a threat to world sprint cham­pion Usain Bolt in the Ja­maican’s bid to de­fend his ti­tles.

Coe said anti-dop­ing con­trol was among the key poli­cies he would im­ple­ment in the first phase of his pres­i­dency, re­it­er­at­ing what he had preached in his elec­tion man­i­festo.

Coe (58) – cred­ited for the suc­cess of the Olympic Games in Lon­don in 2012 – has ar­rived at the top amid on­go­ing al­le­ga­tions of wide­spread dop­ing in the sport.

He has de­fended the IAAF’s record on dop­ing since the leak of blood-test data to the media, but he sang a dif­fer­ent tune this week, say­ing that deal­ing with drug cheats was para­mount for him.

Out­lin­ing his plans for ath­let­ics, the charis­matic 2012 Olympics chair­per­son said his pri­or­i­ties would be to:

Move to­wards an ex­ter­nal, fully in­de­pen­dent anti-dop­ing agency to deal with dop­ing vi­o­la­tions;

Cre­ate an Olympic ath­let­ics div­i­dend that would pro­vide a min­i­mum of $100 000 (R1.25 mil­lion) of ad­di­tional fund­ing – over a fouryear pe­riod – to each of the 214 ath­let­ics mem­ber fed­er­a­tions. He said the money would come from the grant ath­let­ics re­ceived from the In­ter­na­tional Olympic Com­mit­tee;

Es­tab­lish a more har­monised world ath­let­ics cal­en­dar;

Im­prove day-to-day com­mu­ni­ca­tions and re­la­tion­ships with mem­ber fed­er­a­tions; and

Im­prove com­mer­cial sup­port to the fed­er­a­tions.

Many African IAAF fed­er­a­tions were, how­ever, un­happy that Wed­nes­day’s vot­ing re­sults did not go in their favour, sources told City Press this week.

Four African rep­re­sen­ta­tives who at­tended the elec­tive congress told City Press Bubka had re­lied on Africa, South Amer­ica and Asia among the con­ti­nents whose coun­tries had promised their vote.

“Coe is strong on an­ticor­rup­tion, and some would not like it,” said one of­fi­cial who asked not to be named, also ask­ing for dis­crete­ness about the iden­tity of his fed­er­a­tion.

“Most would be dis­ap­pointed be­cause [Bubka] of course made prom­ises to Africa be­fore the polls,” added another source, who also re­quested anonymity.

This was in con­trast to the bold stance of Ghana Ath­let­ics, which pub­licly an­nounced its sup­port for Coe and de­scribed him as a man of in­tegrity equipped with “knowl­edge, ex­pe­ri­ence, vi­sion and the tem­per­a­ment nec­es­sary to lead our global or­gan­i­sa­tion for­ward”.

Although diplo­matic in his re­sponse, Bolt said at his spon­sors’ con­fer­ence this week that “as long as [Coe] is good for the sport, I’m happy that he is elected – we’ll see what hap­pens in the fu­ture”.

The for­mer Olympic cham­pion will of­fi­cially take over from out­go­ing pres­i­dent Lamine Di­ack af­ter the global track and field cham­pi­onships in Bei­jing.


Em­marie Fouche, who has quit her teach­ing job to coach full time, with one of her star SA ath­letes, Zarck Visser


Khotso Mokoena PA­TRIOT Ghir­may Ghe­bres­lassie of Eritrea holds his flag af­ter the marathon at the IAAF World Cham­pi­onships


LORD­SHIP Se­bas­tian Coe, the newly elected pres­i­dent of

the IAAF, ad­dresses the media dur­ing

the as­so­ci­a­tion’s congress at the Na­tional Con­ven­tion Cen­tre in Bei­jing this


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