The following manifesto was released by UK Athletics earlier this morning. The note from UK Athletics says that this is to further the debate. If we take the document as just that, some of the ideas are, while well-meaning, perhaps not well researched. That does not mean that the suggestions can not help inspire debate or encourage needed changes in our sport.
The bio passport ideas make a lot of sense. The changing of records and the 8 year bans also make sense, but, they may not be legal (the long bans need to be properly researched, as I thought anything past a four year ban was illegal in European Union members).
Here is the point though: UK Athletics obviously sees the crisis that surrounds the IAAF, and knows that they must respond to drastically change the sport.
Truth is, changing records does make a lot of sense at one level. It is not accusing all athletes of cheating, but it draws a line in the sand that doping efforts have been truly increased. The success or failure of the sport of athletics will be decided in the next few months. At a certian point, the IAAF, with its back against the wall, will have to take the high road and come up with suggestions (such as those above) that radically change the sport of athletics.
Unless they do, the IAAF will continue to be the punching bag of sports reporters good and unresearched.
Just a hunch, but, this week is just going to be a mess for our sport.
A MANIFESTO FOR CLEAN ATHLETICS
11 January 2016
UK Athletics (UKA) has today published its document ‘A Manifesto for Clean Athletics’, which calls for a wide-ranging debate about measures that could be introduced to achieve a new era of clean athletics.
Amongst the 14 proposals made within the Manifesto for Clean Athletics are:
- Calling for anti-doping authorities to create a public register of athletes being tested.
- Athletes from the leading athletics nations to have a valid blood/biological passport to compete in a world athletics championship.
- Member federations being held accountable for loss of prize monies to athletes of other nationalities if their own athlete’s medal winning result is later annulled.
- And UK Athletics will seek to enforce a lifetime ban against representing Great Britain for any athlete guilty of a serious anti-doping violation.
In addition, following the conclusions of the Performance Oversight Committee’s (POC) Oregon Review (announced 18/09/15), today UKA is publishing the recommendations.
UK Athletics Chairman Ed Warner said:
“The integrity of athletics was challenged as never before in 2015. Clean athletes and sports fans the world over have been let down. Trust in the sport is at its lowest point for decades.
“UKA believes the time has come for radical reform if we are to help restore trust in the sport. Athletics needs to act very differently if we are to move on from the crisis facing the sport. We are publishing today a ‘Manifesto for Clean Athletics’. We cannot will the ends – a clean sport that people can trust – if we are not prepared to be bold and put in place the means to get there.
“Greater transparency, tougher sanctions, longer bans -and even resetting the clock on world records for a new era – we should be open to do whatever it takes to restore credibility in the sport. And at the heart must be a proper and appropriate funding regime for the anti-doping authorities to help confront the new challenges they face. Clean athletes the world over deserve nothing less.
“This Manifesto is obviously just one contribution to the debate. There will doubtless be many others. What matters now is that athletics faces up to the scale of the problem facing the sport and is brave enough to take the tough and radical steps to ensure its long term health – however difficult they may be.
“We are also publishing the recommendations from our review into Oregon last summer. We had said we would wait until the USADA Report before publishing but the need for transparency overrides our previously stated position.”
This Manifesto builds on the position that UKA has taken in the sport by continuing to be the only Diamond League organiser to have a clear and stated policy to not invite athletes returning from a serious anti-doping violation.
Please find the link to download UKA statement: A Manifesto for Clean Athletics_UKA.docx