IAAF secures future of Diamond League

The International Association of Athletics Federations (IAAF) has said its Diamond League competition is guaranteed until at least 2019 after announcing a new five-year agreement with organisers of its 14 race meetings.

The Diamond League was formed in 2010 to replace the Golden League, the IAAF’s former top-tier one-day series which existed from 1998 to 2009. IAAF president Lamine Diack said today that an agreement was reached to continue the Diamond League format at a recent general assembly meeting of the competition in Zurich.

“The IAAF Diamond League is a valuable asset for the IAAF,” Diack said. “Therefore I am delighted to announce that the IAAF has agreed a new contract with our partners which will ensure the IAAF’s continued support of the series to at least 2019.”

The Diamond League’s 2014 calendar consists of 14 events in Doha, Shanghai, Eugene, Rome, Oslo, New York, Lausanne, Paris, Glasgow, Monaco, Stockholm, Birmingham, Zurich and Brussels. Diack conceded that the league still faces future challenges, but believes it has grown substantially in its opening four years.

“Our vision in 2009 was to create a new, exciting product for an athletics top-tier invitational circuit,” Diack said. “While there remain many challenges ahead, the IAAF firmly believes that we have made an exceptionally good start in the first four years.

“The IAAF Diamond League offers the best of athletics entertainment outside the World Championships and Olympic Games. The worldwide TV audience for the IAAF Diamond League is far greater than the previous Golden League. In 2013, the 14-meeting series attracted an increased global TV audience with 265 million viewers across 135 countries. With the launch of the IAAF Diamond League App, and extensive use of social media to attract the younger sports fans, we are confident that the series will continue to grow.”

Diack was speaking ahead of the opening event of the 2014 Diamond League, which is being held in Qatar on Friday.