Recently in Oregon21 Category

Time for Vin Lananna, USATF to get on the same page

by Austin Meek, for the Register-Guard (February 21, 2018)

Vin Lananna.jpgVin Lananna, associate athletic director at the University of Oregon and president of TrackTown USA, talks with reporters on the final day of the the IAAF World Indoor Championship at the Oregon Convention Center. (Andy Nelson/The Register-Guard)

Time for Vin Lananna, USATF to get on the same page, by Austin Meek, for the Register-Guard (February 21, 2018)

Maybe I'm naive, but I believe Vin Lananna when he says Eugene's bid to host the 2021 World Outdoor Track & Field Championships was conducted on the up-and-up.

I also believe that when the Department of Justice gets involved, that's a big deal.

Outside of the Willamette Valley, track and field in this country is almost invisible as a spectator sport.

We can debate causes. The effect is indisputable.

Few people go to meets. Few watch on television. Few care.

This means it's difficult for athletes who are extraordinarily successful in college to pursue the sport post-collegiately because it can be almost impossible to make a living as a professional track and field field athlete.

I don't blame the leadership of USA Track & Field for this. But I also don't see the leadership thinking creatively for ways re-engage with the public.

by Ken Goe/OregonLive/The Oregonian

The way you feel about the USATF board of directors' stewardship of the sport in this country and the way it represents the organization's membership probably colors how you feel about the board's decision to put USATF president Vin Lananna on temporary leave.

The move was made Sunday when the board met in executive session in Albuquerque, and announced in a Monday release.

Lananna, remember, was elected by the membership in late 2016 by acclamation after several years of discord between the board and the rank and file. The USATF presidency is an unpaid position.

USA Track & Field president Vin Lananna said Monday night he was surprised when the organization's board of directors placed him on temporary administrative leave for what the board called "potential conflict of interest concerns" in light of a Department of Justice Investigation.

The DOJ is investigating the bids of several international championships, including the successful 2015 bid by USATF and TrackTown USA to bring the 2021 world outdoor track championships to Eugene.

HaywardFieldFE-USOlyTr16.jpgHayward Field, Summer 2016, photo by

Originally posted January 20, 2018

Reposted February 2, 2018

So, what do we need to understand about the visit by the IAAF to Eugene?

First of all, the IAAF finally gets it. There should have been a World Championships in the US thirty years ago. There is absolutely no excuse. But they sure get it now. The site team from the IAAF was fifteen people and they spent three days meeting with all the players.

Nike is paying for the redo of Hayward Field. Philip Knight, the founder of Nike has put Howard Slusher in charge of the redo of the stadium. That is the highest complement that Nike could give the importance of the remake of Hayward field. Think a European type track only stadium, seating about 35-40,000, with permanent and temporary seating. Mr. Slusher was the man behind Oregon's football stadium. He is formidable and no whining is permitted.

That the University of Oregon, Tracktown and other parties were not playing well has been rumored for some time. USATF and the LOC will do their job, and the IAAF will make sure that the event is done according to the rules and regulations of the sport.

When IAAF's CEO Olivier Gers says that the IAAF is not worried about the renovation or rebuild of Hayward Field they know that the Field will be done in time and honor the past as well as the future of the sport.

One final note. That the IAAF was able to forge a state wide relationship and support is a huge feather in the event's cap.

More to come!

Rupp_GalenW1-USOlyTr16.jpgThe glory of Hayward Field, photo by

EUGENE (USA): informs that the TrackTown USA organizing committee is standing by the successful bid for the 2021 World Outdoor Track & Field Championships after The New York Times reported on Wednesday that U.S prosecutors have issued grand jury subpoenas in connection with a wider corruption investigation. In a two-sentence prepared statement, TrackTown USA CEO Michael Reilly said: "Our role was to put the best bid forward. We are proud of our bid and stand by it." Writes

RunBlogRun opines: The New York Times piece ( is pretty typical of the genre. No additional information as no one will go on the record to speak on sports corruption. The supoena, however, is pretty damning. For the IAAF, the lack of transparency, and the imperial nature of how decisions are explained bites our global federation in the proverbial backside. Suggestions of corruption on the Doha 2019 bid were and are rampant. The truth is, that was the bid that Eugene should have won. The 2021 victory for the US is thirty years late. That the IAAF has been unable to figure out the strength of the sport in the U.S. is mind boggling. But, the US is at fault as well, as the lack of government support has hurt any US bid in the past.

The state of Oregon's invovlement in the 2021 championships is truly unique and is an example of how things have changed. Tracktown has a great team of people and they have a Herculean task in front of them. The rebuilding of Hayward Field now has Howard Slusher managing the project, and that is a huge positive.

Mike Reilly responded well to the NYT story. It is all he can do. Mike Reilly is one of those rare people who can put on a major championship in any venue you throw at him. Remember, he managed Stanford, Oregon, and London 2012. And on top of that, Mike Reilly can work with Vin Lananna, no mean feat.

That the investigation has not gone away is telling, even with no new information. Stay tuned for more updates.

HB5Q8540.jpgStandard Chartered Dubai Marathon starting line, January 2017, phot courtesy of Dubai Marathon

The 2018 Standard Chartered Dubai Marathon is the largest event of its kind in the Middle East. 27,000 runners and walkers will compete on Friday, January 26, 2018. Runners and walkers from 150 countries are collecting their numbers for the Marathon, 10k and 4k. The Dubai media team caught up with some of the world travelers, and asked them about their running, and the upcoming event.

Like marathons around the world, the 2018 Standard Chartered Dubai Marathon give the field a chance to see the city in a way that few others will experience.

IAAF wants to link Oregon meet to LA Olympics to grow sport

(Reuters) - Global athletics is hoping to link the 2021 world championships in Oregon to the 2028 Los Angeles Olympics in a bid to maximize interest in

the sport in the United States, the International Association of Athletics Federations (IAAF) chief executive told Reuters on Wednesday.

The United States track and field team ranks as the best in the world but American spectator interest is relatively low.

"We are starting to think about the wrap up in the U.S. to LA 2028," Olivier Gers said in a telephone interview from Eugene, Oregon where he is on a

site visit for the 2021 championships, the first to be held in the United States.

To read entire story, go to:

RunBlogRun opines: Great idea for IAAF. And it makes total sense. Olivier Gers, CEO of IAAF sees that the major sporting event globally of 2021

is a great way to build the interest for athletics and the LA 2028 Olympics. Hope to see LA 2028 interest in this one. Makes total sense.

Hayward Field, photo by


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