Tag Archives: Sebastian Coe

Sebastian Coe: Russia must complete ‘recovery plan’

World Athletics President Sebastian Coe has reportedly said that bosses “cannot trust the system” which would potentially allow Russia to return from its sanctions imposed as a result of a World Anti-Doping Agency (WADA) ruling.

A WADA verdict in 2020 ordered Russian athletes to appear at major events under the Russian Olympic Committee banner for four years, although the decision was later halved and is due to run until December 2022.

Competitors have been forced to compete with a neutral flag and national anthem at competitions including the summer Games in Tokyo in 2021 and the upcoming Beijing Winter Olympics.

The All-Russian Athletics Federation (ARAF) was suspended by the Council of the International Association of Athletics Federations at a meeting chaired by British Olympic legend Sebastian Coe in 2015.

Now Coe has said that the sanctions approved by his organization will depend on the status of the Russian Anti-Doping Agency (RUSADA).

“Russian athletics will return to the international arena after the recovery plan is fully implemented,” Coe told TASS. “It is important that progress is monitored. I am confident that I can provide the World Athletics board with such a recommendation, and this is possible only if the recovery plan is fully implemented. We are not yet fully confident that we can fully trust the system.”

WADA’s ruling also banned Russian officials from attending events and prohibited the country from hosting international showpieces.

That would have outlawed Russian president Vladimir Putin from attending the Beijing Games had he not received an invitation from his Chinese counterpart, Xi Jinping.

“It is known that one of these elements is outside our jurisdiction,” Coe cautioned of World Athletics’ potential decision. “I am talking about the status of RUSADA, which is handled by the World Anti-Doping Agency. But it is an integral part of this process. “We are moving in the right direction. Now there are two good independent experts working in ARAF. They report to us on what is happening.”

Coe’s organization has doubled the quota of Russian athletes allowed at major international competitions, increasing the number of Russians who will be able to participate in the 2022 World and European championships under neutral status to 20.

Source: rt.com

Seb Coe: Track and field dopers are “architects of their own downfall”

Seb Coe says British sprinter CJ Ujah’s ongoing doping case is a painful reminder that athletics is committed to cleaning up its act.

Ujah is provisionally suspended having tested positive for a banned substance after helping Team GB win an Olympic sprint relay silver medal in Tokyo.

The case is with the Anti-Doping Division of the Court of Arbitration for Sport and as the year ends the 27-year old has yet to learn his fate.

Ujah insists he is “not a cheat” and has “never and would never knowingly take a banned substance”.

Lord Coe, a former chairman of the British Olympic Association, said that “of course” he would be disappointed were the case against the Londoner to be proven.

It would mean not only him, but team mates Zharnel Hughes, Richard Kilty and Nethaneel Mitchell-Blake, losing their medals and Team GB giving up the notable achievement of matching their 65-medal haul of London 2012.

But Coe, boss of World Athletics, added that from a broader perspective the case provided further evidence of track and field’s increased determination to protect its competitive integrity.

World Athletics president Sebastian Coe ( Image: PA)

“Take Great Britain out of this,” said Coe. “I would share the disappointment in any federation and in any athlete that falls fouls.

“I am sorry to say this, and I am not going to be romantic or emotional about it, they are the architects of their own downfall here. The rules are very clear. It is not arcane maritime law.

“We spend hundreds of thousands of pounds a year through the Athletics Integrity Unit (AIU), for its education programme, making sure athletes and federations understand what the roles, the rules, the obligations are.

“Take Great Britain out of this,” said Coe. “I would share the disappointment in any federation and in any athlete that falls fouls.

“I am sorry to say this, and I am not going to be romantic or emotional about it, they are the architects of their own downfall here. The rules are very clear. It is not arcane maritime law.

“We spend hundreds of thousands of pounds a year through the Athletics Integrity Unit (AIU), for its education programme, making sure athletes and federations understand what the roles, the rules, the obligations are.

“So, yes, I am disappointed in so far as every positive is not a good story. But in a way it does show that we are at least tackling this issue now and we are a federation who are not doing junk tests.

“We are not sitting there saying we have hundreds of thousands of meaningless tests. We are doing it in a very systemic and effective way. We will continue to that.”

World champions Christian Coleman and Salwa Eid Naser both missed Tokyo due to bans, as did 2016 Olympic hurdles champion Brianna Rollins-McNeal.

Ahead of the delayed Games, Coe even warned: “There is a greater chance of (cheats) being caught than probably any previous Games.”

Last night he added: “I want athletes to recognise that it really doesn’t matter where they reside, what systems they are in, whether they come from small, medium-sized, large, powerful federations.

“The philosophy is pretty simple, everybody will be treated exactly the same way. I think it is demonstrating that.”

Seeing’s not believing as shoe tech rips up the record books

When World Athletics chief Sebastian Coe began his review of the year by highlighting “some jaw-dropping performances” he perfectly encapsulated the sport’s current paradox – people are stunned by what they are seeing, but not necessarily impressed.

For decades, huge world records were often greeted with a weary assumption of doping but many of today’s even bigger leaps are the result of “performance-enhancing technology”.

The dropping of the jaw is all-too often accompanied by the shaking of the head as a succession of astounding performances on track and road have left fans utterly discombobulated.

Illustrating the issue perfectly was the men’s Olympic 400 metre hurdles final in Tokyo this year, widely acclaimed as one of the greatest races in history.

American Kevin Young’s world record of 46.78 seconds had stood for 29 years before Norway’s Karsten Warholm finally nibbled eight hundredths off it in Oslo in July.

In Tokyo, Warholm scorched an incredible 45.94 seconds, while American Rai Benjamin and Brazilian Alison do Santos were also inside Youngs’ mark that had been untouchable for almost three decades.

As sceptics reacted not with adulation but with questions about the seemingly obvious impact of the new carbon-plated, thick-soled spikes and the “energy-returning” Tokyo track, Benjamin hit back by saying he could have done it in any shoes.

“No one will do what we just did,” he said. “Kevin Young, Edwin Moses (who broke the world record four times and won two Olympic golds in a 10 year run of 122 consecutive race wins), respect to those guys, but they cannot run what we just ran.”

SIMILAR STORY

It was a similar story, albeit with smaller margins, in the women’s event where Sydney McLaughlin and Dalilah Muhammad ran inside McLaughlin’s pre-Games world record and almost a second faster than the mark set by Russian Yuliya Pechonkina in 2003 that stood for 16 years.

Of course, times have always got faster and technical innovations have helped, but the leaps being seen now are, in the words of Warholm himself, “taking credibility away from our sport” as he bizarrely criticised Benjamin’s carbon shoes for having thicker soles than his own.

One of the other highlights of the Tokyo Olympic programme was Jamaican Elaine Thompson-Herah’s unprecedented retention of both 100m and 200m titles as, also aided by carbon spikes, she edged within touching distance of the extraordinary and hugely dubious times set by the late Florence Griffith Joyner in 1988.

It is a similar story on the roads, where World Athletics’ 2020 shoe design rules must be one of the greatest examples of closing the stable door after the horse has not only bolted but disappeared over the hills.

Records continue to tumble at all levels and this year has seen almost two minutes wiped off the women’s half-marathon world record, in three massive bites.

Coe says it is pointless now trying to place these seemingly stupendous performances in historical context and, in the case of the two 400m hurdles races, for example, he is surely right that fans should sit back and just appreciate the stunning head-to-head showdowns on the biggest stage of all.

However, perhaps the most uplifting event of the athletics year did not feature a record, or an outright winner, as Mutaz Essa Barshim of Qatar and Italian Gianmarco Tamberi found themselves locked together after three fails at 2.39 metres in the Olympic high jump final.

Barshim asked an official: “Can we have two golds?” and when he said “yes”, and both men erupted in joy, it was truly one of the great Olympic moments.

World Athletics Council prolongs suspension of Russia

The World Athletics Council has recommended the Congress of the global governing body of track and field athletics to prolong the membership suspension of the All-Russia Athletics Federation (RusAF) until all reinstatement requirements are met, World Athletics President Sebastian Coe said on Wednesday.

Addressing the World Athletics Congress meeting on Wednesday, Coe said that the organization’s Council recommended earlier the 53rd Congress “to maintain the suspension of RusAF’s membership until all the agreed conditions” were implemented.

World Athletics and RusAF

World Athletics, suspended RusAF’s membership in November 2015, following a wave of anti-doping rules violations and formed a special mission on the issue. World Athletics, however, allowed clean athletes from Russia to participate in international tournaments under the neutral status or the Authorized Neutral Athlete (ANA) until the membership of the RusAF is reinstated. The ANA status prohibited Russian athletes from participating in all international track and field tournaments under the national flag.

The World Athletics Council announced on November 22, 2019 its decision to extend the suspension of RusAF’s reinstatement process, based on charges brought by the Athletics Integrity Unit (AIU). According to World Athletics, the AIU charged RusAF on November 21, 2019 “with obstructing an investigation and provisionally suspended several senior federation officials for tampering and complicity.”

The provisionally suspended senior officials at that time were then-President of RusAF Dmitry Shlyakhtin and several more high-ranking people from the federation for helping to falsify documents, which Russian high jumper Danil Lysenko presented as his excuse for skipping doping tests.

In March 2020, the World Athletics Council ruled to fine RusAF $5 million for an alleged involvement of the previous executive administration’s attempt to forge official documents of high jumper Danil Lysenko. RusAF repaid the fine on August 12, 2020.

Source: tass.com

Exclusive: UK Athletics’ chief was on £226k salary during controversial period

UK Athletics’ controversial chief executive Jo Coates was earning a salary package of £226,143 before she resigned last month, making her one of the highest paid administrators in British Olympic sport, the Guardian can reveal.

The news, which is contained in the UKA accounts for the 2020-21 financial year that will be filed at Companies House later this week, will upset many in the sport given her 19-month reign was characterised by turmoil, infighting and athlete dissatisfaction.

That anger reached a head in September when a group of Britain’s top athletes and coaches told World Athletics president Sebastian Coe of their frustration with Coates and her performance director Sara Symington. Both women also had their defenders but a month later both were gone following a stormy UKA board meeting.

UKA’s accounts show that Coates earned a £147,500 basic salary as well as another £78,663 in pension contributions between March 2020 and March 2021. However, the wider picture is far rosier than expected with UKA reporting an overall deficit of just £103,000 for the financial year. That is considerably better than the result of the previous two years, where the combined losses were over £1m.

Those results also came about despite the organisation experiencing a £9m fall in income due to the global pandemic. However, a combination of only staging one event – the British championships in September 2020 – and dramatically reduced costs for training camps due to travel restrictions meant that UKA was able to cut its costs by just over £9m.

The accounts show that UKA was also able to claim around £85,000 from a number of government schemes, including placing a number of staff members on furlough. And if it wasn’t for unrealised foreign exchange losses of £148k – as a result of the sport holding US dollars to cover costs including those associated with international events and overseas training camps – UKA would have made a £45,000 surplus.

When approached for a statement, UK Athletics confirmed that the accounts for the 2020-2021 financial year will be published on UKA.org.uk and at Companies House this week.

UKA’s chief financial officer Mark Draisey added: “This is a positive outcome for the sport, with our ambition of a break-even position only impacted by the exchange rates affecting our holding in US dollars.

“In terms of our core activities the organisation is coming out of this challenging period with a much stronger financial position to report.”

Italy furious after world’s fastest man excluded from 2021 Athlete of the year list

The Italian Olympic movement is furious over the exclusion of sprinter Marcell Jacobs from the nominees list for male athlete of the year by World Athletics, with a senior official calling it “a lack of respect” and “profoundly wrong.”

The sport’s governing body announced a list of 10 nominees for the prestigious award but found no room for the only man to win two golds on the track at the Tokyo Olympics. Jacobs was the surprise Olympic champion in the 100 metres – the signature event of track and field – and also helped Italy to gold in the 4×100 relay.

“It’s profoundly wrong,” Italian Olympic Committee president Giovanni Malagò said Friday, a day after the nominees were announced. “We’re very upset.”

Italian high jumper Gianmarco Tamberi, who tied for Olympic gold with Mutaz Barshim in his event moments before Jacobs won the 100, also failed to make the cut. Malagò said the omissions amount to “a lack of respect toward our two athletes.”

The 10 nominees are Joshua Cheptegei, Ryan Crouser, Mondo Duplantis, Jakob Ingebrigtsen, Eliud Kipchoge, Pedro Pichardo, Daniel Stahl, Miltiadis Tentoglou, Damian Warner and Karsten Warholm. The nominees were selected by an international panel of athletics experts, comprising representatives from all six continental areas of World Athletics. The winner will be announced in December.

Jacobs, also won the 60 meters at the European Indoor championships in March, did not compete after the Olympics, when he withdrew from his remaining Diamond League events to recover from a knee injury. “As always, the World Athletics Awards will recognise athletes who have performed at the highest level across the year, taking into account not only the Olympic Games, but the one-day meeting circuits,” World Athletics president Sebastian Coe said.

Source: stuff.co.nz

WADA to review cannabis’ status on Prohibited List

United States Sha’Carri Richardson missed the Olympics due to testing positive for the recreational drug which has forced the World Anti-Doping Agency (WADA) Executive Committee to endorse a scientific review into cannabis’ status as a banned substance.

The WADA’s Prohibited List has named Cannabis’ as one of the banned drugs which has come under fresh scrutiny after Richardson missed the Olympics due to returning a positive result after injecting herself. This banned drug is legal in many American states and decriminalized across much of the world.

Richardson won the women’s 100m at the US Olympic trials but failed to travel with the team to Tokyo after she was banned by United States Anti-Doping Agency (USADA) for a month and her results at the trials disqualified.

Richardson said she had ingested marijuana after learning from a reporter that her biological mother had died and was in Oregon, where it is legal.

World Athletics President Sebastian Coe is among those to have queried the cannabis ban, saying a review “should be” carried out, while Richardson’s suspension sparked particular backlash in the US.

Cannabis will remain banned in 2022 while the review initiated by WADA’s List Expert Advisory Group is carried out.

WADA said “there will be limited modifications” only to the Prohibited List for 2022, following the Executive Committee’s latest meeting in Istanbul.

A modification prohibiting all injectable routes of administration of glucocorticoids in competition was approved in September 2020, and will be implemented from January 1 next year.

The delay was made to allow more time for communication and education of athletes and medical personnel with regards to the change to help them avoid inadvertent adverse analytical findings and for laboratories to update their procedures.

Fun, Pomp and colour as the World U20 Gets underway

It was fan, pomp and colour when the first lady of the Republic of Kenya, Margaret Kenyatta officially opened the world U20 athletics championships on Tuesday evening at the Moi International Sports Centre, Kasarani Stadium.

Kenyatta who is also the event patron said that World U20 Championships is a milestone for Kenya and the rest of Africa.

“The stakeholders and media have played a critical role in ensuring that this event is successful. I’m impressed with the young men and women who want to improve the sport by competing in an exciting event and would like to wish them the very best in various field and track events,” she said adding that they young people should pursue their dreams to the highest level.

“I would like to urge all the athletes, officials and all those participating in making the event a success to follow the protocols for the Covid-19 so that we can have a free and healthy championship by the end of five days,” she added.

The opening ceremony was also attended by World Athletics president, Sebastian Coe, Athletics Kenya president Gen (rtd) Jackson Tuwei and Sports CS Joe Okudo.

Record figures at Tokyo Olympics highlights global reach of athletics

WORLD ATHLETICS President Sebastian Coe has hailed the Tokyo 2020 Olympic Games and the people of Japan for allowing the dreams of the world’s athletes to come to life at what has proven to be the most globally successful edition of the Games for athletics.

A record 83 teams reached finals in Tokyo, highlighting the global reach of the sport, with 43 teams featuring on the medal podium and 23 of those winning gold.

Some 70 per cent of athletes only get one chance to compete at the Olympic Games and in Tokyo athletes made the most of the opportunity under the most challenging circumstances.

Coe thanked Japan and the Tokyo 2020 Organising Committee for providing the best possible platform on which the sport’s stars could shine. Over ten days of competition, three world records, 12 Olympic records, 28 area records and 151 national records were set in these history-making Games.

“To the people of Japan, we know the hardship you have endured and continue to endure in the face of this global pandemic,” Coe said.

“We owe you a massive debt of gratitude for your gracious hospitality, your professionalism and your friendship. You really have been simply the best and we thank you unreservedly.”

The tally of 43 countries on the medal table is the biggest in athletics for more than 20 years, underlining the diversity and depth of talent in the sport. Across all Olympic sports at the Tokyo Games, 93 teams earned medals, so almost 50 percent of those achieved their dreams in athletics.

For 12 teams – Bahamas, Bahrain, Botswana, Burkina Faso, Ethiopia, Grenada, Jamaica, Kenya, Morocco, Namibia, Puerto Rico and Uganda – athletics was their pathway to the Olympic podium.

ALL GOLD: Joint gold medalists Gianmarco Tamberi of Italy, left, and Mutaz Essa Barshim of Qatar during the men’s high jump victory ceremony Photo By Ramsey Cardy/Sportsfile via Getty Images

In total, athletes at the Games covered a combined distance of 2,045,750 metres in track events and 10,737km in road events. Field eventers threw a combined distance of 1508 metres and jumped a combined distance of 2490 metres.

While the platform was set for many record-breaking performances, the Tokyo 2020 Games will also be remembered for its surprise results, close contests, next generation breakthroughs and moments of fair play.

Among the new stars who shone on the global stage were teenagers Athing Mu and Keely Hodgkinson, who claimed respective gold and silver in the women’s 800m at the age of just 19.

Fourteen athletes under the age of 23 won medals, six of them gold, to underline the exceptional talent coming through the sport.

Meanwhile, one of the most heart-warming moments of the Games came in the men’s high jump when Qatar’s Mutaz Barshim and Italy’s Gianmarco Tamberi – friends and rivals who battled the same career-threatening injury to make it to Tokyo – decided to share the gold.

All of these moments helped to engage and inspire fans around the globe. World Athletics’ social media channels (Twitter, Facebook, Instagram and TikTok) received 14 million engagements during the duration of the Games, and content on Twitter, Facebook, Instagram and YouTube receiving 155 million impressions.

For the first time, World Athletics also provided a second screen experience – Inside Track Tokyo 2020 – which enabled fans to join celebrities, experts and families online as they shared their reactions live while following the excitement of the Games.

Source: voice-online.co.uk

Climate change could lead to switch of event dates, suggests Coe

Rising summer temperatures worldwide could lead to a major rethink about when major sporting events are held, Sebastian Coe, President of World Athletics said on Sunday after another brutal day for athletes in the men’s marathon.

The marathons and walk events were shifted from Tokyo to the supposedly-cooler northern city of Sapporo but there was little relief, with temperatures in the high 30s Celsius, even with early-morning starts.

Heat and humidity was an issue in Tokyo, where the endurance athletes in particular – even those well-used to training in hot climes – found it extremely tough.

“They were difficult conditions and we could well be confronting the same temperatures in Paris in 2024,” Coe said.

“At the U.S. trials in Eugene (host city of next year’s world championships) it was in excess of 40 (104 Fahrenheit). This is the challenge we are all going to confront now, and it will probably need a global discourse around the calendar and how we stage events.

“I’m no climatologist but the reality is that wherever we go the new norm will be dealing with really harsh climatic conditions.”

The 1964 Tokyo Games were held in October, as were the 1968 Olympics in Mexico City. Seoul in 1988 and Sydney 2000 were both in September, but the norm for northern hemisphere cities has been for July or August.

Next year’s soccer World Cup in Qatar has been shifted from its normal summer slot and will be held in November/December to avoid the worst of the heat.

Coe did mention that for the sprinters the conditions were ideal for warm ups and performance.

One of them, Italy’s Lamont Marcell Jacobs was one of the stories of the Games after his shock 100m win and his role in Italy’s 4x100m relay victory.

After coming into the year with a personal best of over 10 seconds Jacobs took gold last week in a European record of 9.80, leading to immediate speculation that his starling improvement was a result of chemical help.

Jacobs said on Saturday he had split from his former nutritionist once he heard that Giacomo Spazzini was allegedly being investigated for a connection with performance-enhancing substances.

“If you make breakthroughs people ask questions,” Coe said. I’m sure they did about my career. I came back from the European championships in 1978 with a bronze medal and a year later I had three world records.”

Coe said that any doping questions are now addressed by the independent Athletics Integrity Unit.

“I’m satisfied that we have the best unit of its kind in any sport,” he said. “But we have to be permanently vigilant.”

Coe said he was leaving “with a massive well of thanks and appreciation and a promise to the people of Japan that we owe you a massive debt of gratitude for the gracious way you’ve hosted us in the face of the hardship you have endured.

“Hosting an Olympic Games in normal circumstances is excruciatingly difficult, I know, I’ve done it,” said Coe, who ran London 2012.

“But hosting Games in these mountainously difficult conditions has been nothing short of a miracle.”