The second and final day of the 212th IAAF Council Meeting, chaired by IAAF President Sebastian Coe, was held today (26) at Le Meridien hotel, Monaco.
IAAF World Indoor Championships 2020
Following three passionate and technically high level presentations made by all three candidates, the Chinese city of Nanjing was awarded the IAAF World Indoor Championships 2020.
Delegations from the three candidate cities made their presentations to Council in the following order (after the drawing of lots) of Nanjing (CHN), Belgrade (SRB) and Torun (POL).
Athletes of the past and present played a central role in the presentations. They included China’s reigning world shot put champion Gong Lijiao, Serbia’s reigning European outdoor and indoor long jump gold medallist Ivana Spanovic and Poland’s 2002 European Indoor 400m champion Marek Plawgo.
Nanjing, a city of more than 8 million, staged the 2014 Olympic Youth Games and will build a stadium specifically for the world indoor championships in the Nanjing Youth Olympic Sports Park. It will offer a permanent legacy as an athletics training centre after the championships.
Sebastian Coe commented: “I look forward to celebrating the very best of world athletics in 2020 in Nanjing. The hosting of these championships will assist the development of an already established and growing culture of athletics in the country.”
“We were impressed with all the bids, particularly the involvement of athletes in the presentations and the plans for permanent athletics legacy at elite and community level which was central to all three visions for 2020. There can only be one winner in any race but I hope that Belgrade and Torun will return in future years to bid for other championships, as you each have so much to offer to the future of athletics.”
Russian Federation (RusAF) Reinstatement
The current status (click here for full report) is that most, but not all, of the Verification Criteria have been met. Of the five remaining conditions in the Roadmap, one has been fully met to date (support for the Clean Sport Movement), two others have only been partly met (satisfactory testing, and a solution to the problem of enforcement of provisional suspensions of coaches), and two have not been met at all (acknowledgement of McLaren findings; reinstatement of RUSADA).
Based on the above, the conditions established by the IAAF Council for reinstatement of RusAF to IAAF membership have not yet been met in full. Instead several material conditions remain outstanding, either in whole or in part and as a result the IAAF Council approved the unanimous recommendation of the IAAF Russian Taskforce not to reinstate RusAF until all of the reinstatement conditions the Council has set have been met in full. The Council also approved the Taskforce’s recommendation that the current Verification Criterion that a Russian athlete must undergo at least three tests in the six months prior to international competition be replaced with a requirement that RusAF ensure an effective, intelligent and proportionate test distribution plan is implemented for testing its athletes at the national level, with the Athletics Integrity Unit to determine whether this reinstatement condition has been met.
Commenting on the report, Rune Andersen, independent Chair of the IAAF Russian Taskforce said:“RusAF continue to work hard at reforming Russian track & field, and the Taskforce continues to support those efforts. However, there are several reinstatement conditions still to be satisfied. In particular, RusAF needs the Russian authorities to get RUSADA reinstated and to acknowledge the McLaren findings”.
Athletics Integrity Unit – Morocco removed from Watch List
Brett Clothier the head of the Athletics Integrity Unit (AIU) delivered an update report to Council on the countries placed on an anti-doping watch list.
AIU’s recommendation, which Council approved, was that Morocco is removed from the current anti-doping watch list of five countries but will be required to submit activity reports to the AIU during 2018.
Belarus, Ethiopia, Kenya and Ukraine will remain on the list and a new set of requirements for these four federations will be prepared based upon their anti-doping activities in 2017. Monitoring of the compliance with those requirements will be made by the AIU Board who will report back to Council.
Remaining items for discussion at IAAF Council this afternoon
This afternoon the Council will hear reports from a number of Commissions including the Coaches Commission, the Values Commission, the Road Running Commission and the Competition Commission and an update from the Gender Leadership Commission.
Day 1 Wrap
IAAF World Half Marathon Championships 2020
The Polish port city of Gdynia which is part of the urban ‘Tricity’ with Gdansk and Sopot, the latter held the 2014 IAAF World Indoor Championships, was this afternoon awarded the IAAF World Half Marathon Championships 2020.
Running in Poland has seen tremendous growth in the last ten years. 6 million Poles run and there are 4500 running events staged annually, of which the half marathon is the most popular distance. The annual Gdynia Half Marathon is a IAAF Bronze Label Road Race.
Sebastian Coe commented: “We are always honoured when experienced member federations with proven organisational credentials and a strong athletics culture and tradition wish to host our competitions. Poland is a regular, well trusted host of IAAF World Athletics Series events and Gdynia’s bid application was very comprehensive and to the highest technical standards. Their intention to hold kids (‘Athletics For Everyone’) and mass races which attract young Poles to the sport and in association with the championships was very exciting.”
Piotr Dlugosielski – POL MF International Director, commented: “We are very thankful to the IAAF for putting their trust in us, this is the first time this event has been awarded to Poland. The new format, combining a mass event with elite athletes will help and boost our running movement in Poland. Our new project Athletics For Everyone, involves more than 100,000 children and it will be a big part of the World Half Marathon Championships.”
IAAF World Race Walking Team Championships 2020
Minsk, the capital and largest city of Belarus, was today awarded the right to host the IAAF World Race Walking Team Championships 2020.
This will be the first occasion that Belarus has ever staged an IAAF World Athletics Series event.
Minsk staged this summer’s European 10,000m Cup competition and holds an annual half marathon.
Sebastian Coe commented: “I’m pleased that we are taking our world athletics series to another country for the first time which will help the development and profile of athletics. The city centre course makes this an attractive event for spectators to follow and their plan to hold kids’ race walking and an extreme mass race for adults, will assist the promotion by building a direct connection with the community.”
Vadim Devyatovskiy, BLR MF President commented: “We are very happy as this is our first experience with the IAAF (World Athletics Series) and we would like to integrate into the world athletics family. We hope that this event will be an important part of the history of athletics. We would like our youngsters, our teenagers and all other citizens of Belarus to take part in the (mass) race.”
Transfer of Allegiance – rules remain frozen
Following the decision of Council at their meeting on 6 February this year to freeze the transfer of allegiance process, the IAAF Working Group which was formed to consider the rules, has since met twice, in April and October.
The working group recommended that considering the complexity of the issues that were evident during their discussions, including a lack of understanding as to the key drivers behind some transfers, more work and time is required before making any proposals regarding amendments to Rule 5.
Further consultation is required with a broader range of stakeholders including athletes, Member Federations, agents, coaches and meeting directors and there is a need to seek clarity of the legal framework and scope.
This approach will help to ensure that any proposals relating to Rule 5 that are put to Council are robust and will best address the agreed principles and the rationale for the initial freeze.
Council agreed with the working group’s recommendation and therefore the existing rules remain frozen. They will review the situation again in March 2018, by which time its hoped that the group will be in a position to make firm proposals.
“With athletes’ welfare and the integrity of competitions at stake this is not a process which should be rushed,” commented Sebastian Coe. “We must get this right and if that requires further consultation, discussion and research then that will be time well spent to safeguard athletes’ safety and the sport’s credibility.”