USATF declines to reinstate president

The US Athletics Federation (USATF) has declined to reinstate its president Vin Lananna, while a global investigation continues into the awarding of the IAAF World Championships to the city of Eugene in Oregon.

The USATF placed Lananna on “temporary administrative leave” in February last year to avoid any “potential conflict of interest”, but voted to extend his leave at the weekend after hearing from Lananna that he had been interviewed by Department of Justice attorneys about the awarding of the competition.

“Based on what was heard (over the weekend) and in light of the recent grievances filed, the board was overwhelming in favour of tabling the issue,” USATF temporary president Michael Conley said in a statement to Reuters.

“The board feels it remains prudent to follow the dispute resolution process prescribed by USATF bylaws.”

Lananna was the leader of the bid for the 2021 IAAF World Championships, which was awarded without a bid process. He maintains that neither he, nor TrackTown USA, the organising committee for the competition, did anything wrong in securing the meeting.

The view was echoed by the USATF in 2018 when it said it had no reason to believe Lananna was implicated in any wrongdoing but thought it best to place him on leave until the Department of Justice investigation was closed.

One of Lananna’s attorneys, David Greifinger, said his client has not heard from the Department of Justice since his interview and that he has filed a grievance against the federation seeking reinstatement.

“The only mantra you hear from the (USATF) national office is we need a letter from the Department of Justice telling us that he is not being investigated or the investigation is concluded,” Greifinger said. “You are never going to get that.”