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
Qatar – The IAAF will announce a title sponsor for the Diamond League
within the next three weeks according to its president Lamine Diack.
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.”
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.
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.
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
He also denied reports that the IAAF is on the verge
bankruptcy but acknowledged the federation has to meet a number of
“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
“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.
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.”
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.
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
“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 IAAF.org.