EUGENE (USA): TrackTown USA published a statement which says among other: “In relation to the bids from the United States for the 2019 and 2021 IAAF World Championships, TrackTown USA stands fully behind the integrity of these candidatures, which have been made public. The Eugene proposal – which was identical for 2019 and 2021 – adhered to all ethical and legal standards for organizing, presenting and advocating for our bid, according to IAAF rules. The decision to award the 2021 World Championships to Eugene was made by the IAAF Council in a vote of 23-1.” From Trackandfieldnews.com.
Editor’s note: That the US had not hosted an outdoor World Championships until 2021 is, in my mind, an example of one of the issues that has held the sport of athletics back. There is really no excuse for it.
Sweden hosted the World Champs in 1995, and if my recollection is correct, it was a fine World Champs. The cost overruns caused the Federation to file for bankruptcy. The 2021 bid was to be done by the city of Gotenburg, a wholly different matter. With the lack of stars in Swedish athletics at this time, and sponsorship challenges for the Swedish Federation, the financial support of the city was what made the 2021 bid strong for Sweden.
In the past, most cities that bid for a World Champs did it several times before they won. The Doha-Eugene battle over 2019 was very, very close.
The problem with 2021 is the lack of a process. It was questioned immediately, by some. Again, that was the right of the IAAF to make that decision that Eugene made sense. After the 2014 World Junior Champs, many were impressed by Eugene, but the issue of adidas as an IAAF sponsor in Nike’s home was always going to be an issue.
Knowing Vin Lannana, and his team, I do not see that any impropriety was involved. The IAAF was offered a fantastic TV deal, support for Eugene to have a fine addition to Hayward Field, and infrastructure to make Eugene a suitable home for the World Champs.
The stench surrounding Lamine Diack, Pappa Diack and their partners in crime has come to sit on the 2021 bid.
I find this unfortunate, but, truly, just a sign of the times. Everything will be questioned about our sport over the next several months.
And, trust me, it will get worse over the next couple of months as the second part of the WADA report is revealed.