IAAF Council Tidbits, by Alfons Juck, Notes by Larry Eder

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As the year winds down, the IAAF Council is meeting in Monte Carlo. In one of the worst economic climates in recent memory, the world has gone from the excitement of Beijing to the daily concerns over the ever increasing economic woes that are clouding our globe.

There is a positive in all of this. Running and Athletics are two of the most inexpensive sports in the world. Running footwear sales continues to grow, the average price of performance running shoes is now $110, and after the Running Event, (Dallas, Nov. 10-13), the pre eminent running trade event in our sport, it
was clear to the 250 running stores in attendance and 140 plus exhibitors, that
running should do well in 2009. More on that this weekend....

EME NEWS (NOV 21, 2008)

NEW FORMAT OF WORLD CUP, NOT YET A DECISION IN RUSSIAN CASE

MONTE CARLO: From the first day of IAAF Council Meeting the innovation of the World Cup is the top story. There is no result in Russian Doping case yet. The decisions of the All Russia Athletic Federation in 6 of the 7 cases of urine substitution revealed by DNA analyses were recently referred to the Doping Review Board (Lamine Diack, Robert Hersh, Abby Hoffman) which is meeting in Monaco to study and discuss the dossier. The Board will make a decision before the end of the month as to whether the original decision of Russian federation (bans starting in 2007) should be appealed to CAS. Council agreed a proposal concerning the revision of the current format of the IAAF World Cup based on feedback from the public and from television rights holders. There will be no longer teams from each of the five continents, USA and top two from Europe. But instead four Area teams (Africa, Americas, Australasia-Asia/Oceania and Europe). Two athletes per team in each individual event will compete, except in the 1500m, 3000m, 3000mSC and 5000m where three athletes may enter with two to score. The competition will also change to determine the overall winner (no separate women and men winner). This new format will already apply to next edition in 2010 in Split. Concerning other championships, new concepts are also strongly considered. For World Indoor Championships two afternoon / evening sessions of mainly finals lasting not more than 3 hours in length. Qualifications to be held the day before. This should apply already for next under-cover championships in Doha 2010. For summer World Championships the core of the proposal remains the desire to focus the highlights of the Championships into six or seven evening sessions lasting 2-3 hours each. Final proposal will be evaluated by council in March next year.

OTHER INTERESTING NEWS FROM THE COUNCIL

2009 IAAF Budget was also approved. The IAAF's share of the 2008 Olympic Revenue will amount to USD 28.5 million, USD 3.5 million more than in Athens 2004.

Further to recent discussions between IAAF President Lamine Diack and IOC President Jacques Rogge, the Technical Regulations for the 2010 Youth Olympic Games Athletics Competitions have been finalised. The Athletics Competition Programme is now comprised of 36 events (combined events dropped and with 1000m races replacing the 800m and 1500m events). The 6-day programme shall cover 12 days, with an innovative competition schedule which will allow the youngsters to have more chances to compete.

President Diack also has written to the IOC President supporting the athletes' initiative regarding the inclusion of cross-country races into Winter Olympic Games programme and the IAAF is awaiting the IOC's response. In Beijing, the IAAF Council cancelled the World record for Men's 4x400m, set by a US team that included Antonio Pettigrew, following the confession of Pettigrew, who had admitted to using human growth hormone and EPO between 1997 and 2003. Today the Council agreed that all the individual and relay results obtained by Antonio Pettigrew since 1997 should be disqualified, as his use of a prohibited substance could be considered a "continuous offence" before and beyond the year 2000.

UKHOV WARNED

IAAF council also warned Russian High jumper Ivan Ukhov who competed last September in Lausanne at Athletissima while under the influence of alcohol. That means he can compete in indoor season 2009. His best is 239 what is also Russian indoor record.

WORLD ATHLETICS TOUR

Concerning the IAAF World Athletics Tour the curious situation with Shanghai meeting held after WAF in autumn and scoring points for next season will no longer exist. The event must be staged in March/April period in 2010 if it wants to be part of the series. The 2008 edition already scored for 2009 WAT, but the 2009 edition must be organised in spring 2010. London Aviva Super Grand Prix was allowed to be again as this year over two days (July 24-25). It was also agreed that a coach will be added to the WAT Working Group. On Saturday the future project of the meetings will be considered by the council.

11 COUNTRIES EVERYWHERE

11 IAAF Member Federations participated in all the World Athletics Series Competitions in 2008: Australia, Brazil, Canada, Spain, France, Great Britain and NI, Netherlands, Poland, Portugal, Russia and USA. Seven are from Europe, 3 from America and Australia.

WORLD ATHLETICS GALA BACKGROUND:

· For the main award winners (Athlete of the Year) the 100 000 USD award is ready. That means for Usain Bolt and ?

· musical entertainment from singer Lalah Hathaway and the Jamaican band the 'Fabulous Five', will make this an Athletics night to remember.

· Wellesley and Jennifer Bolt, parents of triple Olympic gold medallist, Usain Bolt, will also attend the gala

· Female top Ethiopian Tirunesh Dibaba will be present, but unfortunately both top males will not arrive (Haile and Kenenisa)

· Among the guests also two surprise Olympic gold medalists Maurren Higa Maggi of Brasil and Francoise Mbango of Cameroon

HOWE HAS A DAUGHTER

MELBOURNE (AUS): Oceanian Pole Vault record holder Kym Howe (28) is a proud mother as her daughter Ava Lilly Nadin was born at 10.12 pm on Nov 20. She weighed 3.65kg and is 49cm long. Her coach Alex Parnov informs the mother is doing well. Howe did not compete in 2008 of course, her continental marks are 465 (outdoors) and 472 (indoors) from 2007.

TUCSON (USA): Rend Lake College track & field head coach Brent McLain has informed Trackshark.com that Kenyan 800 m runner Boaz Lalang will forgo his collegiate eligibility and turn professional. Lalang turned in the fastest 800 meter time by any collegian this past season at 1:44.68, including a 9th place finish with his time of 1:45.87 at the Beijing Olympic Games while representing Kenya. Lalang has signed with adidas and under agent James Templeton, the same agent for Bernard Lagat. He will remain at Rend Lake College until the summer of 2009.

KINGSTON (JAM): Howard Aris will serve at least another four years as president of the Jamaica Amateur Athletic Association (JAAA). Aris, holder of the Order of Distinction in the rank of Command Class, and his entire executive, was elected unopposed at the JAAA's annual general meeting held at the Rex Nettleford Hall at the University of the West Indies, Mona. Informs Jamaica Observer. Former excellent sprinter Grace Jackson, a member of the IAAF Women's Committee, will serve as Aris' first vice-president. Meanwhile, the new multimillion-dollar JAAA headquarters will open its doors soon. The state-of-the-art JAAA facility, which is set to cost about 41.8 million USD, is situated at 6 Tremaine Road, just above the National Stadium.

ADDIS ABABA (ETH): The best ever marathoner Haile Gebrselassie today received the 2008 AIMS Citizen World's Fastest Time Award at the pre-race conference of the 2008 Toyota Great Ethiopian Run. He was presented the award by Hugh Jones, General Secretary of AIMS who compared Haile's achievement to that of great Sergey Popov who recorded the world's fastest time at the marathon for 3 consecutive years in the 1950's. Gebrselassie has run the world's fastest marathon time for the past four years. Gebrselassie has a busy weekend ahead of him as he hosts many international guests in Addis Ababa for the staging of Ethiopia's annual running carnival.

LONDON (GBR): Mick Woods coach of Stephanie Twell and Emma Pallant the world junior 1500metres gold and bronze medallists, is on the shortlist of contenders for this year's UK Athletics Coach of the Year Award.

Woods will be a strong favourite to collect the accolade at UKA's Annual Awards Dinner supported by Heidsieck & Co Monopole Champagne, on November 29. Informs David Martin.

NEWCASTLE (GBR): Britain's largest road race and one of the world's most competitive half-marathons, the BUPA Great North Run, will be held earlier than usual next year, race organizers announced today. Informs Race Results Weekly. The race, which is also the world's largest half-marathon, takes place in Newcastle, England. Typically held the last weekend in September, or the first weekend in October, the two-day race festival will be held on Saturday, Sept. 19, and Sunday, Sept. 20 in 2009. Nova International, the management firm which organizes the race, said the move was necessitated by „the international athletics calendar and television schedules" in a press release circulated to the media. It is only one after the IAAF World Athletics Final (next year in Thessaloniki, Greece) and could attract for the newly introduced sprints on the road the world elite. The event holds childrens' runs, a road mile, a two-mile or 3 km, and several sprint races on Saturday as a curtain-raiser to Sunday's massive half-marathon which recorded 36,669 finishers in 2008. Like the ING New York City Marathon, the BUPA Great North Run accepts 52,000 runners through a lottery process out of over 100,000 who apply. The race, which has been held since 1981, recorded its one millionth entry this year.

DES MOINES (USA): By many considered world number one at 100 m Hurdles Lolo Jones informed IAAF website about her plans: „I'm also going to Japan in December where my sponsors, Asics, are going to mould me a specific custom made pair of Lolo shoes. I'm so excited by the project because I have really high arches and my feet are so slender and narrow people call by feet skis. The colour? Well, I don't know yet but Asics switch up their colours from hot pink to gold, so we'll just have to see." About her training and goals for indoor season she said: „As for now it is back to the hard slog of training and back out for the indoor season. I hope to start competing again in early February, although I'm undecided about whether to do the US indoor circuit for the first time or the European indoor circuit, which I love." Next winter there is no global championships for US athletes in indoor season.

OSLO (NOR): Olympic silver medalist at 20 km walk, the 36-years old Kjersti Tysse-Plätzer of Norway, announced that in 2009 she will end her career. It will happen after the 2009 World Championships in Berlin. At a press conference in Oslo she also said that she is having strong connections to Germany. Her first big events were in this country with European Junior Championships 1985, European Championships 1986 and World Championships 1993 and also she is married with German Stephan Plätzer. Initially she was thinking to end already after this season.

MOSCOW (RUS): Former Russian 5000 m world champion Olga Yegorova ended her career. That was confirmed by her Estonian agent Aivar Karotamm for All Sport. She was involved in the latest Russian doping case in the group with Soboleva etc., but as only one did not appealed the proposed sanctions and did not attend the hearings.

ATHENS (GRE): Former 400 metres hurdles Olympic champion Fani Halkia has been suspended for two years by the Greek athletics federation SEGAS. Halkia was tested positive for banned steroids before the Beijing Olympics and barred from competing. The Athens 2004 Olympic champion, her coach and two more athletes have already been charged by Athens prosecutors with doping violations before and during the Beijing Games. Halkia, 400m runner Dimitris Regas, 200m sprinter Tassos Gousis and coach Giorgos Panagiotopoulos face prison sentences of up to two years, Agencies are informing.

Used with permission of Alfons Juck, EME News.

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