Athletics stalwart Sir
Arthur Gold has died
Dave Martin for the IAAF
26 May 2002 - UK Athletics have announced the death on Saturday night of Sir Arthur Gold CBE, EAA Honorary Life President, and one of the most influential athletics officials of his generation and a pioneering anti-drugs campaigner in the sport.
The last of the sport's great Corinthian administrators - carrying on the beliefs of the likes of Sir Harold Abrahams of “Chariots of Fire” fame that sport was for relief rather than rewards – Sir Arthur was 85.
Brendan Foster MBE, a former Olympic, European and Commonwealth medallist, a close friend of Sir Arthur, said: "He did a professional job for countless years for athletics on an amateur, unpaid, basis."
"When the sport finally turned totally professional he helped guide the important changes through. His knowledge of the sport was unbelievable and his enthusiasm for athletics unmatchable. Sir Arthur was a backbone for so many years and his list of senior appointments clearly shows the massive contribution he made during a lifetime's involvement at almost every level."
During a lifetime in athletics, he served the European AA as a Council Member from 1969-76, President from 1976-88 and Honorary Life President from 1988 onwards; the British Amateur Athletics Board as Honorary Secretary from 1965-77 and Life Vice-President from 1977 onwards; British Olympic Association as Chairman from 1984-92 and Vice-President from 1993 onwards; was leader of national athletics teams at Olympics in 1968, 1972 and 1976 and Commonwealth Games in 1982, 1986 and 1990; and president of both the Counties Athletic Union from 1983 until recently and the AAA from 1984 onwards.
He was also a pioneer in both the UK and Europe when the sport launched its anti-doping agencies. He was Chairman of both the Sports Council Drug Abuse Advisory Committee in the UK from 1981-92 and the European Sports Confederation Drug Abuse Advisory Group from 1985-91 as well as being Vice-Chairman of the Council of Europe (Strasbourg) Committee on Doping in Sport from 1983-90.
During his 12 years as the part-time, unpaid leader of the BAAB - which had the task of selecting and preparing Great Britain Teams for Olympic Games, European Championships and representative matches against other nations - he declined an invitation to become the country's first full-time director of a British Athletic Federation in the early 1970s on the grounds that the sport could not afford to fund such a post. He continued to work in the motor retail industry and another 20 years elapsed before Britain had a single athletics governing body.
Sir Arthur's death in London was announced during the two-day CAU Inter-Counties Championships at Bedford. Competitors, officials and spectators at the second day of the meeting stood for a minute's silence in memory of a man described by CAU Secretary Cliff Robinson as "a guiding influence and great encouragement".