Sebastian Coe, the president of the International Association of Athletics Federations, has outlined a 10-point roadmap to restore trust in the sport and its governing body.
The roadmap includes five steps for “building trust in the governing body” and five more for “building trust in competition”. Coe, who became president of the governing body in August 2015, has unveiled the measures following a turbulent few months in which the World Anti-Doping Agency detailed state-sponsored doping in Russia and the IAAF itself was linked to allegations of corruption.
The plan for rebuilding trust in competition includes establishing a separate integrity unit for track and field, doubling the international testing pool of athletes to 1,000 and increasing the anti-doping budget to $8m (€7.5m). The IAAF will also dedicate greater resources to unravelling doping schemes involving athlete support personnel, including employing specific investigative expertise within the integrity unit when it is established in mid-2016, and will monitor member associations more closely to ensure greater accountability.
In terms of rebuilding trust in the IAAF, Coe said that the governing body would be organised so there are clear lines of responsibility, with a new chief executive to be appointed in the middle of this year. Also by mid-2016, the IAAF plans will receive a forensic review of operations and finance, conclude a vetting process and put in place new commissions and special advisory groups. The IAAF will also empower the independent IAAF Ethics Board and rewrite the IAAF constitution to make sure it is modern, fit for purpose and capable of delivering the guidance and protection that is required, although this will not be approved until the next IAAF Congress in August 2017.
“I am president of an international federation which is under serious investigations and I represent a sport under intense scrutiny,” Coe said. “My vision is to have a sport that attracts more young people. The average age of those watching track and field is 55 years old. This is not sustainable.
“The key to making that vision a reality is creating a sport that people once more trust in. Athletics must be a sport that athletes, fans, sponsors, media and parents alike know is safe to compete in on a level playing field and one in which clean effort is rewarded and celebrated.”