Copyright – 2015 – Athletics Illustrated
During the 2015 campaign in the run up to the election of the IAAF Presidency, the manifestos and promises are coming thick and often between Great Britain’s Lord Sebastion Coe, who is a current Vice President and Ukraine’s Sergey Bubka, but is it enough for the IAAF and the sport to gain the credibility it so needs to reclaim?
Coe has said that he would like to see cross-country running as part of the Winter Olympic Games. Additionally, he has made reference to the short term pain of catching drug cheats for the long-term gain of a clean sport.
Bubka would like to launch a complete review of the IAAF. Reviews cost money, take time and do not always mirror the vision of the President.
Coe has said that this is not about “dancing on the grave of Federations” in regards to a call to ban the Russian Athletics Federation in light of blockbuster allegations of systematic doping in their country.
Is there a grave?
Sebastian Coe has launched his manifesto for the election to the IAAF presidency promising a transformation of the athletics calendar, attracting more young people via “street athletics” and setting up an ethics department for the sport.
Lord Coe, currently a vice-president of athletics’ world governing body, is standing to succeed Lamine Diack, who is stepping down in August. He is likely to face competition from Sergei Bubka, the Ukrainian former pole vault champion who is also an International Association of Athletics Federations vice-president.
Coe said: “To many within and outside our sport, our calendar seems disjointed, lacks a narrative and the essential glue to build excitement and a loyal and passionate following.
Ukraine’s Sergey Bubka has today announced plans to launch a complete review of athletics if successful in his bid to become the International Association of Athletics Federation (IAAF) President.
One of the key elements of Bubka’s programme is ‘Vision 2025’, which aims to ensure that the entire athletics family works together to build a stronger sport for the future.
Bubka and fellow IAAF vice-president Sebastian Coe are vying to replace Senegal’s Lamine Diack, who is stepping down from his role as the head of athletics’ world governing body after 16 years in August.
“‘Vision 2025’ will be the most thorough review ever taken into every aspect of athletics worldwide and will be based on collaboration with the athletics family from the very beginning,” said Bubka.
International Association of Athletics Federations (IAAF) vice-presidential candidate Ahmad al Kamali is reportedly being investigated by the IAAF Ethics Commission for allegedly giving 40 Rolex watches to delegates during his campaign.
According to Spanish newspaper El Pais, al Kamali, President of the United Arab Emirates Athletics Federation and a member of the IAAF’s ruling Council, gave the watches to top sporting officials at the recent Confederation of African Athletics (CAA) Congress in Addis Ababa, Ethiopia in an attempt to win their vote.
The delegates in question have the right to vote in the IAAF Congress elections in Beijing in August.
Under IAAF rules, candidates are prohibited from “giving presents or offering donations or gifts or granting advantages or benefits of whatever nature to or at the request of any party who will vote in, or who may otherwise influence, an election”.
And of course there is the investigation going on regarding the current president’s son Papa Massata Diack who apparently asked for payment of a large sum of money from Doha, Qatar for the awarding of the IAAF World Track and Field Championships meet. They did end up winning the right to host the event.
The son of the IAAF president Lamine Diack is among senior officials from the embattled athletics governing body who have stepped down from their posts pending the outcome of an investigation into allegations of institutionalised doping in Russia.
Papa Massata Diack, an IAAF marketing consultant with exclusive rights to sell sponsorship in developing regions, has joined Valentin Balakhnichev, president of the Russian athletics federation and the IAAF’s treasurer, in agreeing to step down.
Perhaps the candidates need to get more aggressive in their campaigning efforts as they have a major uphill battle on the road to credibility.