7 September 1999MonacoMonteCarlo - Following various statements by representatives of the Sydney Organising Committee for the Olympic Games (SOCOG) as well as speculation in the Australian media, the IAAF wishes to clarify its position with regards to the timetable for the Athletics Competitions at the Sydney Olympic Games in 2000.
The IAAF would first point out that such a timetable, according to the Olympic Charter, must be agreed by the relevant International Federation together with the Olympic organising committee. As of today, the timetable presented by SOCOG has not been approved by the IAAF and therefore cannot be considered valid.
The IAAF advised SOCOG from the outset and on several other occasions that no timetable should be made public until agreed with the IAAF. Regardless of this advice, SOCOG took it upon itself to offer a substantial number of tickets for sale to the Australian public for the Athletics Competitions without the IAAFs agreement. The IAAF is aware that a disclaimer was included in the ticket sale stating clearly that the timetable published by SOCOG was subject to change without notice.
The IAAF regrets that SOCOG took this decision to start with tickets sales against the advice of the world governing body for Athletics and in the absence of a specific agreement on the timetable. The IAAF also understands the frustration this will provoke among the Australian public should a different timetable now be issued.
The IAAF would like to make clear, however, that the best interests of the athletes and their health should be foremost in developing any Olympic timetable. Should the IAAF adopt a timetable for the Athletics Competitions in Sydney which is different from the one issued by SOCOG until now, this would be principally due to the need to provide more rest to the athletes between their races.
Such a motivation could certainly not be considered any less a priority than selling tickets.