EUGENE (USA): Oregonlive.com informs that the TrackTown USA organizing committee is standing by the successful bid for the 2021 World Outdoor Track & Field Championships after The New York Times reported on Wednesday that U.S prosecutors have issued grand jury subpoenas in connection with a wider corruption investigation. In a two-sentence prepared statement, TrackTown USA CEO Michael Reilly said: “Our role was to put the best bid forward. We are proud of our bid and stand by it.” Writes oregonlive.com.
RunBlogRun opines: The New York Times piece (https://www.nytimes.com/2018/01/31/sports/fifa-ioc-usoc-iaaf.html) is pretty typical of the genre. No additional information as no one will go on the record to speak on sports corruption. The supoena, however, is pretty damning. For the IAAF, the lack of transparency, and the imperial nature of how decisions are explained bites our global federation in the proverbial backside. Suggestions of corruption on the Doha 2019 bid were and are rampant. The truth is, that was the bid that Eugene should have won. The 2021 victory for the US is thirty years late. That the IAAF has been unable to figure out the strength of the sport in the U.S. is mind boggling. But, the US is at fault as well, as the lack of government support has hurt any US bid in the past.
The state of Oregon’s invovlement in the 2021 championships is truly unique and is an example of how things have changed. Tracktown has a great team of people and they have a Herculean task in front of them. The rebuilding of Hayward Field now has Howard Slusher managing the project, and that is a huge positive.
Mike Reilly responded well to the NYT story. It is all he can do. Mike Reilly is one of those rare people who can put on a major championship in any venue you throw at him. Remember, he managed Stanford, Oregon, and London 2012. And on top of that, Mike Reilly can work with Vin Lananna, no mean feat.
That the investigation has not gone away is telling, even with no new information. Stay tuned for more updates.