IAAF Rebrands To 'World Athletics', Russia International Ban Upheld

Jun 09 - by AFP for SportPesa News

The body, currently presided over by Britain's two-time Olympic 1500m gold medallist Sebastian Coe, took its present name in 2001 and the new identity should be operational from October

IAAF President, Lord Sebastian Coe speaks to athletes during the 2017 World Under 17 Championships in Nairobi. PHOTO/File

  • The International Association of Athletics Federations (IAAF) was initially founded in 1912 as the International Amateur Athletic Federation
  • Coe said the IAAF Council, meeting in Monaco, agreed it made "the sport more accessible to a wider audience while giving the global governing body the opportunity to more clearly communicate its mission as the leader of the world's most participatory sport"
  • The next chance Russia has of seeing the ban overturned will be at a IAAF Council meeting in Doha just days before the September 27-October 6 world championships in the Qatari capital, leaving a hypothetical window open for its reintegration almost four years on from the initial ban

MONACO, Principality of Monaco- World athletics' governing body, the IAAF, is to rebrand as World Athletics, it was announced Sunday as the the ban on Russia upheld following the conclusion of the Council Meeting in Monaco.

The International Association of Athletics Federations (IAAF) was initially founded in 1912 as the International Amateur Athletic Federation.

The body, currently presided over by Britain's two-time Olympic 1500m gold medallist Sebastian Coe, took its present name in 2001 and World Athletics should be operational from October.

"'World Athletics' builds upon the organisation's restructuring and governance reform agenda of the past four years to represent a modern, more creative and positive face for the sport," said Coe, who took over from disgraced long-time head Lamine Diack in August 2015.

Coe said the IAAF Council, meeting in Monaco, agreed it made "the sport more accessible to a wider audience while giving the global governing body the opportunity to more clearly communicate its mission as the leader of the world's most participatory sport".

"The hope is that our new brand will help attract and engage a new generation of young people to athletics."

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IAAF CEO Jon Ridgeon was slightly blunter in his assessment of the IAAF brand.

"The IAAF name has been in existence for over 100 years, but it has little understanding or relevance to those outside of athletics," he said.

"The new identity creates a symbol that can stand alone and work with partners and events."

Legal name

The new brand identity will begin its rollout in October after the world championships in Doha and following congress' approval of the change to the federation's legal name.

At the same time, The IAAF has been left "frustrated" by Russian back-sliding on issues critical to the country's reintegration into global track and field, a top official said.

Rune Andersen, head of the doping task force for the International Association of Athletics Federations (IAAF), said he had recommended to the 27-strong IAAF Council, which duly followed his advice, that it uphold its ban on Russian athletes, first imposed in 2015 over mass state-sponsored doping.

Andersen said Russia had paid out more than $3.2 million (2.8m euros) for the Task Force's work and had also committed to paying any more costs, so the "cost condition has been met".

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He added "progress has been made on the second outstanding issue," that of retrieving data and samples from a Moscow laboratory at the heart of the scandal.

Those have been passed on to the Athletics Integrity Unit (AIU), a watchdog founded by the IAAF to combat doping in the sport, and it will not be until they report back that they have everything they need that the Task Force will consider that issue resolved.

The AIU are also investigating whether Russian athletics federation (RUSAF) officials were involved in the alleged cover up of a doping offence by high jumper Danil Lysenko.

"Reinstatement cannot be considered while that investigation remains pending," Andersen said.

A Sunday Times story on June 2 alleged RUSAF officials had fabricated documents to show Lysenko, the 2017 world silver medallist, was too ill to provide his whereabouts after failing to make himself available for out-of-competition drug testing.

Banned coaches

"Finally the Task Force noted recent allegations that banned coaches and banned doctors continue to work with Russian athletes," Andersen said.

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"If so, that calls into question whether RUSAF is able to enforce doping bans and whether all RUSAF athletes have embraced the change to a new anti-doping culture proclaimed by RUSAF, both of which are conditions to reinstatement.

"The Task Force shares the Council's frustration at progress in two areas being undermined by apparent back sliding in two other areas.

"It hopes the outstanding issues can be resolved soon."

The last global event Russia appeared in was the 2015 Beijing world championships, but dozens of Russian athletes cleared by the IAAF have gone on to compete as neutrals.

While US-based long jumper Darya Klishina was the sole Russian athlete cleared to participate at the 2016 Rio Olympics, 74 Russian athletes competed as neutrals last year and 68 have been cleared since the start of 2019.

The next chance Russia has of seeing the ban overturned will be at a IAAF Council meeting in Doha just days before the September 27-October 6 world championships in the Qatari capital, leaving a hypothetical window open for its reintegration almost four years on from the initial ban.

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