IAAF CEO Olivier Gers at the IAAF Council Meeting in London (Chris Lee) © Copyright
Press Release London, UK

'A great sport, our athletes and what they do is compelling'

The second and final day of the 209th IAAF Council Meeting took place in London chaired by IAAF President Sebastian Coe.

CEO reflects on first sixth months

In his report to the Council Meeting, IAAF CEO Olivier Gers gave an update on his first six months in office:

“3 April was a great day to have an anniversary as it was a momentous day for another reason – we officially started operating the Athletics Integrity Unit,” commented Gers.

“We have a great sport, the best sport, our athletes and what they do is compelling. We have a solid association structure to deliver our sport, we have passionate people right across the sport but we need to work with partners to create more opportunities.

“My first six months have been about strengthening our foundations - our people, our processes, our partnerships and our products.”

People: “We needed to diversify our skills within the organisation to make sure we had the right set of skills to support the Member Federations and grow the sport.” 

Processes: “The reforms of last year have helped map out many of the integrated processes we need across the organisation from vetting panels to more streamlined financial processes.”

Partners / partnerships: “This sport – all sport – works on a partnership level. Commercial, broadcast, area association partners, national and international partnerships are all critical to making our sport hum – to meeting our vision of being a top-four global sport by 2020.” 

Products: “Our product offering is strong. It may need some repackaging but it is strong and we are trialing lots of new initiatives. We are looking at different sport presentation and will be having discussions on how we evolve the sport over the next few years.”

Tokyo 2020 Olympic Games

Council discussed the Tokyo 2020 Games programme and agreed not to propose the removal of any disciplines from the current programme given athletes are a year into their training for the 2020 Games.

The IAAF will continue to evolve the sport of athletics so it retains its position as the No.1 sport on the Olympic programme. To this effect there are discussions, initiatives, ideas and proposals that are being developed and consulted on. Any agreed initiatives will be introduced into the next Olympic cycle (2024 Olympic Games) after they have been widely consulted on within the sport over the coming months and years.

IAAF Taskforce – Russia

The IAAF Taskforce’s latest interim report about the reinstatement process concerning the Russian Athletics Federation (RusAF) was delivered to Council by Taskforce Member Geoff Gardner.

The Taskforce is concerned that little progress has been made since its last report. The roadmap of six milestones for RusAF’s reinstatement which the Taskforce presented to Council at its last meeting on 6 February are still outstanding and at present it does not look like they will be met any time soon.

Sebastian Coe commented: “Council was disappointed and concerned to learn that the prospect of the milestones being fulfilled this year by RusAF remains a distant one. In particular the situation of the athlete Mr Andrey Dmitriev, a champion of the clean sport movement in Russia, is alarming considering he has felt it necessary to take sanctuary abroad. Anyone with information about a system which has failed to protect the goals and aspirations of clean athletes must feel it is safe to speak out.”

Reallocation of prize money

The Council agreed today to the formation of a Prize Money Working Group (WG) – Pierce O'Callaghan (chair), José Maria Odriozola, Duffy Mahoney, Pauline Davis, Paul Hardy and Paula Radcliffe – to look at prize money, including fundamental principles of prize money vis a vis economic status of athletes and report back to the Competition Commission.

IAAF

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