World Athletics President Lord Sebastian Coe has emphasised his stance of staying out of any matters involving member federations’ selections of their teams for major world championships.
Coe’s comments come as some British athletes have levelled criticism against their national federation, accusing them of stealing their chance to compete at the World Athletics Championships in three weeks’ time.
Reportedly 19 athletes will be told they cannot compete at the World Championships despite being sent invitations to compete in Budapest having qualified through the world rankings system.
Speaking at a pre-competition media call yesterday when asked if World Athletics will step in regarding the matter or in any similar cases, Coe said that it is up to the member federations to determine their process of selecting national teams.
“There is no one size fits all for the selection process across a sport of over 200 competitive countries. I think it is important that the selection of teams is left with the member federations. They will want teams that are possibly going to go there with medal potential. I don’t think it’s for World Athletics to decide what those certain policies are,” Coe said.
‘Feels like they are stealing from me’
Linda Nielson, one of the athletes that reportedly will miss out despite being ranked 27th in the world in the women’s 400 metres hurdles, slammed the decision.
“It feels like they are stealing from me. Who do you think you are to decline it on behalf of the athletes? It doesn’t help the betterment of the sport in our country which I think is dying anyway,” Nielson said
Coe reiterated his stance on not getting involved in such decisions
“I’m more concerned about the quality of those teams. Team selectors will be looking at all sorts of things. Qualification standards are obviously an important prerequisite,” Coe said. (But) you have to support them unless there is something external that seriously we would need to look at. At this moment my stance is very clear that you leave the member federations. They have to be responsible for the members that they take.”
The deadline to achieve the automatic qualifying standard passed on Sunday with World Athletics expected to send invitations to those who have made the quota to qualify for their respective events. Jamaica is slated to announce their world championship team tomorrow.