Time for Vin Lananna, USATF to get on the same page, by Austin Meek, from Eugene Register-Guard, with some thoughts from RunBlogRun


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.

When you talk about grand jury subpoenas and federal investigations, those are scary words. They conjure images of pre-dawn raids and people being hauled away in handcuffs.

To read the entire story, please go here: http://registerguard.com/rg/sports/36470755-81/time-for-vin-lananna-usatf-to-get-on-the-same-page.html.csp

RunBlogRun opines: No doubt about it. This is a hot mess. Before we could finish savoring the fine weekend for the USATF Indoor Champs, the foul smell of possible corruption is acknowledged. Let me be clear: While USATF claims that they have complete confidence in Vin Lananna and Tracktown, and that Mr. Lananna and Tracktown did no wrong, they have taken a duly elected President of USA Track & Field, and pretty much chopped off his arms.

Austin Meek has done an excellent job in this article. He puts the action by USATF into perspective. He also admits some of the miscues that Vin Lananna has given, and how USATF, rightly so, responded to not knowing about a DOJ investigation.

The DOJ, is investigating Doha 2019, Eugene 2021, perhaps IAAF and definitely FIFA. Austin Meek, in his fine article reminds us of the collateral damage that could occur. In the end, innocent people, and by that I mean TrackTown staff, volunteers, track fans and the legacy of Hayward Field and the reputation of Vin Lananna.

While I love all things French, our legal system is based on English Common Law. That means, that a defendant is presumed innocent until the decision of the jury or judge. Napolean (you have to love the five foot tall Frenchman) and hence Napoleonic law presumed defendant was guilty until proven innocent. The passion play that will play out in this matter will dirty all involved.

There is a middle Eastern proverb that I like to use in situations such as the above. "A man is judged by the quality of his enemies." Vin Lananna has annoyed, frightened, you can place the appropriate word , a few people in his career. That is the way most humans travel this Earth and mortal life. Is that coming back to haunt him? Is USATF using their rules, to protect USATF from any possible issues that the DOJ investigation could cause, as Steve Miller noted in the press release or relieving someone of power who did not like how things are being done in USA Track & Field?

Again, too early to tell, but this piece helps us appreciate the possible damage that could be done.

This situation is most unfortunate, from every angle one views. It is now in public and our sport, fragile after three years of absolute crap, is about to be dragged, once again, into the rubbish heap.

I, for one, am glad that Tracktown has enlisted a PR team in crisis management to respond to media inquiries. That should provide for some fascinating conversations in the the next few months, or years.

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