Lamine Diack Speaks: No Financial Crisis at IAAF/Should announce title sponsor of DL in next few weeks!, courtesy of IAAF, note by Larry Eder

Lamine Diack, President of IAAF, photo by

Is the IAAF in financial trouble? Not according to President Lamine Diack. Diack notes that the current financial global crisis did give the IAAF challenges, but he insists that the IAAF is not
looking to file for bankruptcy, and, in fact, will sign up the title sponsor for the 2010 IAAF Diamond League in the next few weeks!

Diack has been President since 1999, when the late Primo Nebiola left office. Diack's announcement  to run once again for IAAF President was seen as a surprise to some of
the key players in the world of global athletics, among them, Sebastian Coe and Sergey
Bubka. Diack did note, that if he is elected President of Senegal, he would give up the IAAF

Diack says no financial crisis at IAAF and looks forward to signing Diamond League title sponsor

Doha, Qatar - The IAAF will announce a title sponsor for the Diamond League within the next three weeks according to its president Lamine Diack.

Speaking just hours before the inaugural Diamond League meeting in Doha's Qatar Sports Club stadium tonight, President Diack said: "I am sure within the coming days we will have a title sponsor for the Diamond League."

He also suggested the 14-meeting format may be extended to 16 one-day events in the future and expanded to cover more regions of the world.

"My original idea was to have this athletics series going around the world from January to December," he said. "We have launched the Diamond League as a programme from May to September, and unlike the Golden League we now have meetings in Asia and the United States.

"We may grow to 16 meetings in the future and take it to other parts of the world if they want to come in and can meet the quality control criteria."

He also denied reports that the IAAF is on the verge bankruptcy but acknowledged the federation has to meet a number of challenges.

"I am optimistic about the future," he said. "We are facing a number of challenges and we have to do our best to come out on top, but I think we are in a good situation.

"At the highest level, what happened in Beijing and Berlin indicated that our sport is still number one in the Olympic movement. As a sport we need stars, and in Usain Bolt we have one of the biggest stars, not just in athletics, but in all sports.

Diack confirmed that the IAAF had been affected by the global financial crisis and has lost income from some broadcasting organisations, but said its reserves at the end of 2009 were US$79 million, which represents close to two years' operating expenses.

"The crisis is making everything difficult and affects everyone. The dollar euro exchange has not been kind for operational costs and we have not been earning as much money on our reserves because the interest rates are so low. We will continue to invest in the development and promotion of our sport all over the world, but we will need to cut our expenses. We can't spend more than our income, but we have a budget proposed by our Finance Committee which is then agreed by the council - and these groups are made up of representatives from every IAAF Area. However, with close to two years in reserves and increased income from Olympic revenues and the Diamond League, the situation is challenging but far from being a disaster."

Diack also confirmed that he will stand for a final term as IAAF President at the IAAF Congress in August 2011.

"In Osaka I said my dream was to go in 2011," he said. "But many members of the IAAF and representatives of the Areas said I shouldn't make this decision yet. They want me to complete some of the missions that I started - such as revamping the competition systems, and introducing athletics again for kids at schools, and I would also like to stay for the IAAF Centenary, having been first elected to the IAAF in 1976. Especially now that there are questions about our financial security, I believe that it is important to remain in charge and steady the ship."

"I may face challenges for the post in 2011, but that's normal. There were challengers in Paris in 2003 [when I was re-elected], and in Osaka. We will go to the IAAF Congress and the delegates will decide.
"If someone else runs and they win, they will be President. If Congress decides it's time for me to step down I will take my rocking chair and play with my grandchildren. I will say congratulations to the winner and go and do something else."

However, Diack also said he may be stand as a presidential candidate in his home country of Senegal in March 2012 if he's asked to and, if elected, would then stand down as IAAF President.

"We have to find someone to rebuild our democracy as a transition leader for four years," he said. "If there is a call for me to be a candidate I will have an obligation to go because I care deeply about my country. If I win then we'll have to find someone else to be IAAF President."

Reprinted courtesy of the

Wake up to RunBlogRun's news in your inbox. Sign up for our newsletter and we'll keep you informed about the Sport you love.

Subscribe to RunBlogRun's Global News Feed

* indicates required