Tag Archives: World Athletics

38 Medical Scientists appeal to IOC over transgender Rule

A lineup of 38 medical experts and sports insiders have signed a statement criticizing the International Olympic Committee’s (IOC) new framework on transgender athletes, issuing a warning over fairness as part of the debate.

After pledging to revise the guidelines amid fierce controversy over the issue at the Olympic Games in 2021, the governing body concluded that trans women would not be required to lower their testosterone to compete against rivals born as women – one of the cornerstones of the row for those who argue that transitioned athletes have an advantage over their opponents.

The reappraisal appeared to have been partly made in response to high-profile cases including Laurel Hubbard, the New Zealander who briefly competed at the Games in super-heavyweight weighlifting.

Testosterone level regulations have come in for further questioning because of the rise of Lia Thomas, a former male competitor who has broken records at college level as a female swimmer in the US in recent months.

Some campaigners for a change to the rules have suggested that groups and individuals are afraid to speak out publicly because they fear repercussions from others who passionately claim that more restrictive measures threaten the basic rights of transgender athletes.

Now the group of scientists and sports professionals, including members of World Athletics and World Triathlon, have written to the IOC to say that the framework is more focused on inclusion than science around gender and performance.

The authors, who are said to be associated with the International Federation of Sports Medicine and European Federation of Sports Medicine Associations, appealed to the IOC to revisit the guidance in the British Medical Journal Open Science & Exercise Medicine.

They say that the presumption of transgender athletes having no presumed advantage offers a “stark contrast” to the previous ruling by the IOC in 2015, scientific evidence and the findings of various groups and research.

Trans women could be allowed to compete in female sport, the scientists say, by lowering testosterone.

Thomas took testosterone suppressants for a year before being backed by the National Collegiate Athletic Association in the US to compete.

Cycling and rowing chiefs are among the leaders urging the IOC to set standards based on fairness and science.

While some scientists argue that the evidence around transgender athletes having advantages is inconclusive, others are convinced that trans individuals benefit in competition when they are born as men, with many going through puberty before transitioning.

Professor Jurgen Steinacker told Sportsmail that transwomens’ choices to compete should be respected but that fairness had to be “bi-directional”.

“In this case, I think what they are doing is unfair on females,” the chair of World Rowing’s Sports Medicine Commission said.

“Sport is inclusive but it is inclusive until it comes to winning medals. If you want to compete as a female in sport, you face biological disadvantages compared to cisgender males that must be mitigated against.

“We need to set a limit that respects the right of females to compete on equal terms. If you create a definition of gender that is based on social rather than biological differences, then you effectively destroy the female category.”

Professor Steinacker’s remarks echoed the views of a reported letter from parents of Thomas’s rivals which warned that the integrity of women’s sports is at risk over the issue.

Former international pentathlete Kirsti Miller, who competed for Australia and later revealed she was transgender while working at a jail in 2000, issued a lengthy social media response to one report of the petition.

Miller said that the last nine Olympic Games had featured two openly transgender athletes, neither of whom threatened to earn a medal.

“Sadly, [one report of the petition] still doesn’t get that there is no relationship between unaltered endogenous testosterone in males or females and sport performance,” she claimed.

“In fact, there is no clear biological list of features that allow us to even remotely cleanly separate men from women.”

Lawsuits in several US states have achieved varying levels of success in bids to bar transgender athletes from competing in female college sports.

The new IOC framework is set to be implemented after the Winter Olympic Games in Beijing, which run from February 4-20 2022.

source: rt.com

World Athletics UPDATES scoring tables for 2022

The World Athletics scoring tables have been updated for 2022 and are available to download from the World Athletics website.

These tables are separate from the combined events scoring system, which remains unchanged.

Statistical data has been analysed since the last edition of the scoring tables – including performances from 2017, 2018, 2019 and 2021 – and has been used to produce this latest version.

Created in 1982 by the late Bojidar Spiriev, the scoring tables have in recent years been maintained by his son Attila Spiriev .

The World Athletics scoring tables for both indoor and outdoor performances can be found in the

technical information section of the World Athletics website.

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.”

World Athletics amends rules to cap shoe sole thickness

The thickness of the soles of track spikes will be capped at 20mm from 2024, World Athletics has confirmed.

The sport’s governing body says manufacturers have “sufficient time” to make adjustments to products before the rule begins on 1 November 2024.

Track spikes can currently measure from 20-25mm in stack height, while the mark is 40mm for road shoes.

World Athletics said it is exploring solutions for athletic shoes that balance “innovation and fairness”.

Recent years have seen questions posed as to how influential advancements in shoe technology have been on new records set both on the track and road.

After taking 0.76 of a second off his own world record at this year’s Tokyo Olympics, Norwegian 400 metres hurdler Karsten Warholm warned shoe technology was proving an issue.

“When somebody does a great performance now, everybody will question if it’s the shoe and that is the credibility problem,” he said.

“People sitting at home. I don’t want them to feel like they’ve been fooled or tricked. I want there to be credibility.”

In announcing the rule change for 2024, World Athletics said it will make a more “flexible” compliance process for checking if shoes are within the rules for each specific event.

Post-race checks will be given stronger focus and a shoe control officer role will be created to oversee new processes.

 

Elijah Manangoi Completes his two years Ban

The 2017 World 1500m champion, Elijah Manangoi will be free (from today midnight Dec 22) to compete after serving his two years ban for “whereabouts failures” that was imposed on him by the Athletics Integrity Unit (AIU).

The 28 years old was provisionally suspended after missing three tests from July 2019 to December 2019. The three missed tests in a 12-month span led to his suspension of two years which forced him not to defend his world title in 2019.

Manangoi is the 2015 World Champion silver medallist, 2018 Commonwealth Games gold medallist and he is also the 2018 African 1500m Champion.

Manangoi was cited as one of the Top 100 most influential Africans by New African magazine in 2017

The AIU was established by International Association of Athletics Federations (IAAF) now World Athletics (WA) in 2017, has managed to conclusively handle over 250 doping cases with Kenya among those countries with most banned athletes.

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.

Secrets that corrupt Lamine Diack took with him to the Grave

Champion long jumper. Coach of the Senegal national football team. Mayor of Dakar. Head of global athletics for 16 years. Olympic powerbroker. Fixer. Corruptor. Convicted super criminal.

Lamine Diack packed a lot into his extraordinary 88 years, which came to a quiet end on Friday. Yet we are perhaps still nowhere close to knowing all of his felonies – and the friends he helped along the way.

True, what we know is staggering enough. Last year Diack received a four-year sentence from the French courts for masterminding a scheme in which the IAAF, now World Athletics, agreed to cover up secretly 23 cases of Russian doping in exchange for £2.7m in bribes. And while another French investigation into Olympic vote-rigging continues, Diack has already been named by a senior figure in the Rio 2016 team as receiving £1.77m for securing African votes. Yet when I spoke to his son, Papa Massata Diack, last year, he hinted that this might be scratching the surface.

“The day Lamine Diack opens his mouth the IOC and Fifa will fall apart,” Papa Massata told me. “Because Lamine Diack knows a lot of secrets, on how the deals were cut to get a lot of the Olympic Games. He knows everything. He’s been the power broker. He was a force in the IOC for a long time.”

Some will say that Massata Diack is a discredited voice, given he was sentenced to five years in prison, fined €1m and banned from sport for 10 years for his part in the Russian doping scandal. It is also true that he remains the subject of an Interpol wanted notice. However, Massata Diack, who is protected by the authorities in Senegal, maintains he was not given a fair trial by the French courts, is innocent and will appeal.

What is also indisputable is that Massata Diack operated in the corridors of power long before he became an IAAF marketing consultant after his father took charge of global athletics in 1999. He pointed out that he started his company Pamodzi in 1987 and sold $620m of sponsorship contracts in his career. But, he added, cryptically: “Maybe the time of keeping quiet is finished.”

In recent weeks Massata Diack has used his Twitter account to drop a few hints about what he might know. And when I spoke to a seasoned Olympic consultant on Friday, who talked on condition of anonymity, he believed this could be just the start – and that Massata Diack did indeed know many of his father’s secrets. “With Lamine Diack’s passing, there will be a lot of very important people around the world holding their breath as to what Papa will do next,” he said.

“Because if this liberates Papa to say: ‘Well, now my father can’t be punished one way or the other, and I’m safe in Senegal, I might as well just let rip,’ there’s going to be a lot of people, from bids going right back to the 90s, who will be extremely anxious as to what Papa is going to do.”

That person also reckoned that Lamine Diack was the last of the great sports dictators, people who – like Sepp Blatter, Juan Antonio Samaranch, Joao Havelange and Primo Nebiolo – could pretty much do what they liked with their federations. “It was an opportunity to basically create a fiefdom that you controlled with total power,” he added.

Few opposed Liam Diack. Another source remembers him demanding lots of expensive Seiko watches to give to his friends at his last IAAF congress before the world championships in Beijing 2015. When Diack was told all the quota of watches in the Seiko sponsorship deal had been used up, he immediately demanded a load more be provided from future years. Who would dare say no?

But has the era of the sporting dictator really ended? Recent history suggests not. Last year a report into the International Weightlifting Federation found shocking levels of corruption, cronyism, cover-ups, bribes and an omerta that would impress the five families. At one point the report noted that the former head of the IWF, Tamas Ajan, even called up the head of the Albanian weightlifting federation and issued an ultimatum: pay a $100,000 fine for doping offences – in cash – or his team would not go to the Rio Olympics.

Meanwhile the governing body of amateur boxing, Aiba, is still trying to earn its place back in the Olympic movement after being stripped of its right to run the Tokyo 2020 boxing tournament after the IOC warned that its behaviour presented “serious legal, financial and reputational risks to the IOC and the Olympic Movement”.

It is easy to see why this happens. International sports federations are autonomous, which means there is no sheriff to watch over them, and they also face little scrutiny from the press, public or the IOC. Clearly executive term limits, greater transparency, independent ethics committees and clear anti-corruption guidelines should be a given for all sports bodies. They are not. As things stand, it is easier for those who should be scrutinising power to fall in line rather than rock the boat.

That was seen, of course, with the IAAF. And while Diack has passed on, the question remains over what secrets he took to his grave. Dead men tell no tales but living ones still might.

Source: irishtimes.com

Where to Watch the World Athlete of the Year Award Ceremony

World Athletics (WA) will be holding the World Athlete of the Year ceremony today Wednesday 1 December from 6pm CET (GMT+1).

The ceremony will be streamed live across the world through the World Athletics YouTube channel and the Facebook page.

The live event will be hosted by marathon great Paula Radcliffe and long jump star Jazmin Sawyers.

Two times Olympic marathon champion Eliud Kipchoge and Two times Olympic 1500m champion Faith Kipyegon are the two Kenyans who have made it to the finals.

Below are the two WA live channels:

Twitter handle:

https://twitter.com/WorldAthletics

Facebook handle:

https://web.facebook.com/WorldAthletics

 

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