© Copyright – 2015 – Athletics Illustrated
The USATF claim that their overall goal it to make a positive impact in communities across the United States and worldwide. As the USATF prepares to send their collection of athletes that have qualified for the IAAF World Track and Field Championships in Beijing, they failed to follow through on this goal.
They have decided to not send their fastest 800-metre runner, current and six time national champion Nick Symmonds – not for any behavioral issues and not for substance abuse, but for not signing a vague document that would require him to wear Nike branded and official USA team attire for an undefined list of “official team events”. All they had to do was define exactly where and when Symmonds would need to wear the gear, while being reasonable with their expectations.
He has stated that he understands that press conferences, races and other official team events do require him to wear the Nike branded product, but he has asked for the USATF to define what other events they refer to in their agreement? For example a morning coffee should not be included. It appears by being unspecific they leave open interpretation and therefore could theoretically demand that Symmonds wear their gear at anytime.
Symmonds is a former Nike sponsored athlete. His current sponsor is Brooks.
Here is the wording from the USATF website under “About”:
USATF, USATF Alumni Association, athletes, volunteers and coaches support the overall goal of making a positive impact in communities across the United States and worldwide.
At a time when the sport of athletics is suffering its worst public relation fiasco in its history, the USATF has decided to act as an inflexible authoritarian; a temperamental child who lost their control in the sandbox.
How does leaving off of the team, the country’s best 800m runner positively impact communities across the United States? It does not.
Here is a Symmonds’ tweet-offer:
Work with me to create a new Statement of Conditions. One that clearly defines at all terms and protect both USATF’s obligations AND the athletes’ rights. I am willing to sign a new and improved Statement of Conditions and represent my country in Beijing. I assure you I will NOT sign the Statement of Conditions as it is written now.”
The USATF clearly is afraid to acquiesce, perhaps because the national governing body would assume that the proverbial flood gates would open, allowing any athlete to make demands anytime he or she felt that they were not being treated fairly.
If the governing body was already treating athletes fairly, there would be no flood behind the gates.
Speaking of governing bodies in hot water, the International Association of Athletics Federations (IAAF) have decided now to publicise the names of athletes who have had suspicious blood values and a pattern of potential drug use via the Athlete Biological Passport (ABP). Was the IAAF upset that they were potentially usurped by German broadcaster ARD/WDR Television? Is this a knee jerk reaction to save face?
Lord Sebastian Coe who was the frontrunner in the race to become the President of the IAAF has stumbled during his campaign recently. He really fell down hard when he criticized the two Australian scientists, who were featured in the ARD documentary giving their feedback as to the seriousness of the doping issue in athletics after reading a leaked IAAF document that lists athlete drug test history. ARD accused the IAAF of not doing anything about hundreds of suspicious test results after analyzing more than 12,000 blood tests taken by 5,000 athletes from the years of 2001 to 2012,
Michael Ashenden and Robin Parisotto are two of the world’s most experienced doping experts said that they believe that the problem is even more widespread than previously thought.
From the website Sport Integrity Initiative
2. ‘The scientists had no authority to comment because of their lack of knowledge of the IAAF programme…it was pure guesswork’
• Since 2011 Robin Parisotto has been retained by the Russian Anti-Doping Agency (RUSADA) to review blood profiles of their elite track and field athletes. Consequently, he is currently providing expert opinion to multiple disciplinary proceedings involving IAAF athletes.
• Michael Ashenden was a member of the WADA Passport Committee that devised targeting strategies for international federations such as the IAAF to adopt.
• Michael Ashenden and Robin Parisotto were both founding members of the UCI’s Expert Panel, they have each provided expert testimony to disciplinary cases before the Court of Arbitration for Sport, and have both advised anti-doping organisations on how to undertake target testing of athletes suspected of blood doping.
Regarding those recent allegations by Hajo Seppelt at ARD/WDR, throwaholics have decided to speak out. See the video below.