USATF board chair Stephanie Hightower at IAAF meetings this past July in Oregon // photo Getty Images

USATF board chair Stephanie Hightower at IAAF meetings this past July in Oregon // photo Getty Images

Track and field

USATF voices: a call for passion, civility and common sense

Eight years. That’s what Jon Drummond got Wednesday for multiple doping violations. Where are the howls now — and where have they been, because everyone had to know something of this magnitude was coming — from the athletes who filled the room just two weeks ago in Anaheim, California, at the annual USA Track & Field athletes advisory committee meeting, where Drummond was improbably still the chair of that very committee? There’s been silence, mostly, and that is just incredible. No, not incredible. Wrong. Where is the outspoken condemnation? For real? Where is it?

Contrast that with the criticism and anger that emerged from some, if not many, at the end of that very same USATF convention. The USATF board voted to put forward federation chairperson Stephanie Hightower for the IAAF council slot at elections next year despite a floor vote for Bob Hersh. This produced raw emotion. Why? Sexism? Racism? Petty personality politics? Some combination of all three? Or something altogether else? The intensity is all the more mystifying given USATF’s fantastic financial performance and the wholesale changes underway at the IAAF level.

Sebastian Coe at an Assn. of National Olympic Committees meeting earlier this month in Bangkok // photo Getty Images

Sebastian Coe at an Assn. of National Olympic Committees meeting earlier this month in Bangkok // photo Getty Images

Track and field

Coe announces for IAAF presidency

Sebastian Coe, the two-time Olympic 1980s middle-distance champion who oversaw the hugely successful 2012 London Summer Games and has been an IAAF vice president for the past seven years, early Thursday announced he intends to run for the IAAF presidency.

Coe, 58, is widely believed to be the front-runner in what is expected to be a two-man race with Ukraine’s Sergey Bubka, the former pole vault star who is also an IAAF vice president and, as well, a member of the International Olympic Committee’s policy-making executive board.

Announcing the IAAF athlete of the year awards, left to right: IAAF press deputy Laura Arcoleo, New Zealand shot-putter Valerie Adams, IAAF president Lamine Diack, French pole-vaulter Renaud Lavillenie // photo courtesy IAAF

Announcing the IAAF athlete of the year awards, left to right: IAAF press deputy Laura Arcoleo, New Zealand shot-putter Valerie Adams, IAAF president Lamine Diack, French pole-vaulter Renaud Lavillenie // photo courtesy IAAF

Track and field

Track and field: ‘soul’ and ‘heart’ of the Games

MONACO — It was 15 years ago Wednesday that Senegal’s Lamine Diack took over as president of the IAAF, the international track and field federation, just 12 days after the death of Italy’s Primo Nebiolo. Diack is now 81, and here Friday he grew reflective looking both back and out at the last few months of his presidency, due to end next August.

“We must never relax, be relaxed,” he said, “about our place in the world of sport.”

Eugene 2019 bid leader Vin Lananna presses the case to the IAAF while, to his right, USATF board chair Stephanie Hightower and chief executive Max Siegel listen in // photo courtesy IAAF

Eugene 2019 bid leader Vin Lananna presses the case to the IAAF while, to his right, USATF board chair Stephanie Hightower and chief executive Max Siegel listen in // photo courtesy IAAF

Track and field

When a two-vote loss is reason for optimism

MONACO — No, Eugene did not win the 2019 track and field world championships.

That it came within a swing of two votes, however — losing in the second round of voting to Doha, 15-12 — has to be seen as an encouraging sign on multiple fronts for U.S. interests, and in particular for USA Track & Field and the U.S. Olympic Committee.

IOC president Thomas Bach with selected athletes to promote the 20+20 recommendations of Olympic Agenda 2020 // photo courtesy IOC

IOC president Thomas Bach with selected athletes to promote the 20+20 recommendations of Olympic Agenda 2020 // photo courtesy IOC

IOC

Olympic channel and 39 more bullet points

MONACO — Of the 40 recommendations the International Olympic Committee made public Tuesday after a year-long study, there’s one, and perhaps one only, that is a game-changer. The rest would appear to be absolutely well-meaning but let’s-wait-and-see how they play out in practice.

The difference maker? The creation of an Olympic channel.