RunBlogRun opines: The European Cross Country Championships are one of the largest in the world. 537 athletes in over 37 countries! I love to read about the champs (thanks to coverage from Paul Halford, Alfons Juck and European athletics. What distresses me is how kean observers, such as Cathal Dennehy continue to decry the approach that Turkey has taken towards athletes. Now, mind you, it is not just Turkey that does this, but Qatar, Bahrain, among others.
In the European Cross Country Championships, athletes who have switched allegiances, like Meref Bathta, from Sweden, who took six years to change allegiance, and actually adopted their home country, are not the issue. And while the IAAF has put the change of allegiance on hiatus, it is, next to doping, the single biggest issue that can destroy our sport.
We applaud the changes that European Athletics President Sven Arne Hansen and his team are doing for their association. I went to the recent European Athletics Running Business Conference and was totally impressed with the energy, focus and interest in changing the sport. We hope that the European Athletics Association can deal with situations like this. It is amazing to see the U20 and U23 races and the athletes developing, but, when they get to senior ranks, competing with athletes bought by European countries to compete in European Champs.
Cathal Dennehy is one of the finest writers in our sport. He travels the world, and has developed warm relationships with the worlds athletes and coaches, with his fine writing and kean observational skills. Dennehy loves he sport and does not like to see unfair activities or blemishes to our sport. His spirited commentary on how Turkey has taken advantage of the change of allegiance program is an important read. (Cathal Denney writes for many athletic media sites, including RunBlogRun, IAAF )
I hope that all read the article by Cathal Dennehy on this problem!
Turks’ shameless talent-grab playing a sick joke on European athletics, by Cathaly Dennehy, written for Irish Independent
Another proud day for Kenya at the European Cross-Country Championships. Another ‘up yours’ from Turkey to the sport of athletics. Another unscrupulous grab at glory by a nation that would rather buy athletes than develop them.