Dijkema to stay on as ISU president
Jan Dijkema is to serve a second term as president of the International Skating Union, the sport’s governing body, despite his own claim upon election in 2016 that he would only rule for two years.
The Dutchman will be the sole candidate at the presidential election, which will take place during the ISU congress in Seville, Spain between 4 and 8 June.
Dijkema had been a member of the ISU Council since 1994 and vice-president for speed skating since 2010 before replacing the long-serving Ottavio Cinquanta as president in 2016.
The 73-year-old cited development, marketing and promotion and good governance as the priorities of his second term in office, according to his manifesto published on the ISU website.
He said: “The ISU is in good shape but there are still challenges ahead. We must continue to further innovate and evolve to succeed in the future. I am very motivated to take further leadership and responsibility as ISU president in the next four years.”
Specifically on marketing and promotion, Dijkema said the ISU will look to test new competition formats, organise events in “high-profile places,” and increase the use of data and graphics in the broadcasting of the sport.
There was no mention of the fight against doping nor the ongoing legal battle with the European Commission over restrictions against athletes competing at unsanctioned.
In December, the commission decided that ISU rules imposing severe penalties on athletes participating in speed skating competitions that are not authorised by the ISU are "in breach of EU antitrust law. The ISU must now change these rules."
The majority of Dijkema’s presidency has coincided with the commission probe into whether the ISU is abusing its dominant position and restricting competition by threatening to bar speed skaters from competing in the winter Olympic Games and ISU European and World Championships for taking part in unauthorised competitions.
Dijkema saw off competition from Hungary's Gyorgy Sallak, France's Didier Gailhaguet and Britain's Chris Buchanan to succeed Cinquanta, who had been in the position since 1994.