WORLD ATHLETICS PUBLISHES ANNUAL REPORT

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© World Athletics

In the World Athletics plan to make the sport more transparent, the response is having some mixed comments.


World Athletics has today published its Annual Report for 2019.

World Athletics 2019 Annual Report


As part of the 2019 Constitution, World Athletics stated that it would produce publicly available financial statements as part of its ongoing efforts to deliver greater transparency.

The financial statements for the year ending 31 December 2019 were filed in line with the International Financial Reporting Standards (IFRS) and approved by an auditing firm. The 2019 consolidated financial accounts mark the end of our four-year funding cycle with cash reserves of US$34.3m at 31 December 2019.

Significant investment in reforms, governance and integrity drove increased expenditure over the last four years as Council and World Athletics chose to maintain spend in competitions and increase development grants, through the Athletics Olympic Dividend, to Member Federations.


A root-and-branch review of all HQ expenditure during 2018 and 2019 led to HQ staff freezes and excess costs cut from across the organisation. The benefits of many of these decisions will be seen from 2020 onwards.

New commercial partnerships with QNB (2018), The Wanda Sport Group (2019) and a renegotiation of the Dentsu partnership have gone some way to filling the revenue gap left by partners exiting the sport following the high profile revelations associated with the previous administration.

"These 2019 consolidated financial accounts come at the end of a tough and turbulent four years for our sport," says World Athletics President Sebastian Coe in his opening message in the report. "But if the last four years have been a time for change, the next four years will be a time to build our sport and our reputation as the No.1 Olympic sport from the ground up.

"The appointment of our new CEO, Jon Ridgeon, in 2019 has seen a renewed and successful drive on the revenue front and a robust approach to reviewing processes and priorities across the business to ensure the organisation lives within its means and is able to cut costs to meet the changing environment we all find ourselves in. Driving unnecessary costs out of the business by working smarter and committing revenue only when it is necessary is already paying dividends and will continue to do so over the coming years," adds Coe.

"It seems somewhat surreal to be sitting in the world we find ourselves in today and writing a report on last year. A year when we hadn't yet heard of Covid-19 or witnessed the devastating impact it would have on all our lives, and of course our sport.

"We have had to postpone many of our main World Athletics Series events in 2020, pushing them out to 2021 and 2022. Our season of Diamond League, Continental Tour, World Challenge one-day meetings and our road race season have all been massively disrupted. The impact of postponing the Tokyo 2020 Olympic Games has also impacted our events with our WorldAthletics Championships Oregon21 now moving to 2022. But in March we became determined to use this time to create a late season of one-day meetings to enable athletes to continue training and have some competition experience in 2020 and we are grateful for all the support, innovation and hard work of those meeting organisers, our athletes, Member Federations, Council, Executive Board and our HQ team. I am confident that together, guided by our new four-year strategic plan, we will grow the sport we all love and cherish, even in these particularly trying times."

World Athletics

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