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Coe dreams big for world athletics

Coe dreams big  for world athletics
Highlights

Monaco: International Athletics Federation (IAAF) President Sebastian Coe feels the sport will rise from the unprecedented Russian doping crisis to be among the world’s top-four alongside football, tennis and Formula One in the next three years.

Monaco: International Athletics Federation (IAAF) President Sebastian Coe feels the sport will rise from the unprecedented Russian doping crisis to be among the world’s top-four alongside football, tennis and Formula One in the next three years.

Coe, a double Olympic gold-medallist, said he is hopeful that the 15-point reforms agenda, which was accented to by the IAAF Special Congress this month, will help athletics get back the trust of clean athletes and the public after the doping scandal.

“The need to reform was much more on the basis of what the modern sport (athletics) required for the vision I have set.

The vision is within the next three-four years, our sport should be the among the top four sports, not the top four Olympics sports,” Coe, who took charge as IAAF chief in August last year, told PTI from London in a telephonic interview.

“As you know our challenge will be with football, tennis, formula one, that is the true competition, and our competition is not with swimming and gymnastics,” he said.

Asked to review the past athletics season, Coe admitted that the Russian doping crisis which led to their track and field athletes being barred from competing in the Rio Olympics was the “underlying challenge of the year.

” “It has been a tough year and also an important year for our sport. Obviously the highlights are the successful showing by athletes in Rio Olympics where athletics re—asserted as the number one Olympic sport.

We had four world championships which were of extraordinarily high standard,” said the 60-year-old Coe, who won a gold medal in 1500m in both 1980 and 1984 Olympics.

“But that does not mask us from the underlying challenge of the year, away from the competitive arena, which will need a long time to build the trust (of clean athletes and public) and that process has started with the reforms we got accented by the Special Congress,” he said.


A radical governance structure reforms package was passed by the IAAF in a Special Congress in Monaco this month, with 182 member federations voting for it out of 197 present.

The 15—point reforms package includes placing more governance power in the hands of the IAAF Executive Board, limiting the number of terms of office for President to three of four years each.

But Coe, who also served as the head of 2012 London Olympics Organising Committee, said there was no reduction in the powers enjoyed by the president even though there would be more checks and balances.

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