BEIJING – IAAF Council met today in the Hotel Kunlun, Beijing, following a highly successful edition of the World Junior Championships in the Chinese capital. China’s vice-minister of Sport Duan Shijie, welcomed the Council members and spoke of Beijing’s enthusiasm for the sport of athletics: “These World Junior Championships have been an excellent test, which will be used to good effect when the world’s best athletes come to Beijing in 2008 for the Olympic Games. In partnership with the Olympic organizers BOCOG, the city of Beijing and the Chinese athletics association, we made every effort to ensure that the World Junior Championships, which welcomed close to 2000 athletes, not only promoted the sport of athletics but also served as the ideal dress rehearsal for the Olympics, just two years before the Games”

IAAF President Lamine Diack said: “From our arrival at the airport, until the Closing Ceremony last night, our sport has been treated impeccably, and we are now certain that the organization of the athletics events at the 2008 Games will be of an excellent standard. We also wanted to promote our sport in China, which is more than just another country to us, and we want athletics to be one of the key sports here. China got more athletes into finals than any other country here at the World Juniors, and this is an excellent indication of the country’s potential”

In his introduction, IAAF President Lamine Diack summarised his activities since the last Council Meeting and expressed his personal disappointment with the positive test result of Justin Gatlin. Diack told his Council colleagues that the credibility of the sport continues to be seriously damaged by the activities of cheats and that the IAAF, despite its long established leadership role in anti-doping, must devise imaginative strategies and devote even more resources to this struggle.

Here are the main items of news from the first day’s Council sessions:

IAAF/Area Associations Meeting

The IAAF/Area Associations Meeting took place on 15 June in Paris and all Area Presidents, General Secretaries and Area Group Representatives on the Council were present.  During the one-day meeting the main topics of discussion were:

– Harmonisation of the international calendar with a suggestion from IAAF Vice-President Dapeng Lou that there be “protected dates” for National Championships;
– Automatic qualification at WCHs of Continental Champions with an additional suggestion from Mr Lou that for 2011, 75% of the qualifying athletes be submitted by the Areas;
– Decentralisation.

These suggestions will be studied during the next Competition Commission Meeting on 10 November in Monaco.

Montenegro and Serbia

On 24 July 2006 President Diack requested that the IAAF Council submit its opinion regarding Montenegro’s application for IAAF Membership.  Eighteen Council Members replied favourably to the application and on 27 July 2006 the Athletics Federation of Montenegro became the 212th IAAF Member.

Montenegro’s affiliation will be on the Agenda of the 46th IAAF Congress in Osaka, Japan in August of 2007, during which confirmation as the 212th Member of the IAAF must be obtained by a Special Majority.

Investigation on Age Manipulation is still on-going

Based on strong suspicion of age manipulation regarding KEN/BRN athletes who competed for Bahrain during the World Youth Championships in Marrakech in 2005 (two of whom won gold medals) IAAF Council has been carrying out an investigation since August 2005. Since then, President Diack has paid a visit to the Bahrain Athletics Association and IAAF Legal Counsel Huw Roberts went to Kenya to gather information from the Department of Civil Registration as well as the offices of Athletics Kenya in Nairobi. 

The matter was also discussed during the President’s recent meeting in Monaco (25 July 2006) with the Honourable Maina Kamanda, Kenyan Minister for Gender, Sports, Culture and Social Services in the presence of Isaiah Kiplagat. Unfortunately, despite all these efforts, the situation is still progressing slowly and only 1 birth certificate has been obtained to date.

Nonetheless, disciplinary files have now been opened in accordance with IAAF Rules in the names of the following 3 athletes:  Dennis Kipkurui (Taher Tarak Mubaraq), John Yego (Belal Mansour Ali) and Hosea Kosgei (Khamis Aadam). 

Fukuoka 2006

Kenyan athlete Longosiwa Thomas Pkemei’s age has been falsified at the 34th IAAF World Cross Country Championships (2 April), where he competed with a registered date of birth of 14 January 1982 in the Junior Mens Race (instead of 1988).  The athlete has been jailed by the Kenyan authorities.  The matter is being investigated by the IAAF and his performance (13th, 24:25) will be annulled.  Since the athlete placed 5th, and was ‘non-scoring’ this annulment will not affect the first place ranking of the Kenyan team.     

USATF proposes new notification procedure

The IAAF learned of the positive test result of 100m co-world record holder Justin Gatlin on 29 July from a press statement by the athletes management, even though USA Track and Field had been aware of the result on 14 June.

Following a letter on this subject from the IAAF, USATF has agreed to take immediate steps to remedy any deficiencies in procedures regarding the notification of positive test results. In the case of Gatlin, USATF believed that USADA had been communicating directly with IAAF, which was not the case, and accepted that, in future, they would immediately notify the IAAF of the name of the athlete and the substance for which a laboratory has reported a positive A sample. In addition, Council was also informed that USATF has convened a Task Force to develop additional ways to deter athletes from using banned substances and to establish procedures and rules that will allow the federation to remove problem coaches, medical personnel and managers from the sport.

Transfer of Allegiance

The following Transfers of Allegiance have been noted since the last Council Meeting.

Name                           

From 

To

Date

ABYU Thomas             

ETH

GBR

6/12/2006

BAKHTACHE Abdelkhader   

ALG

FRA 

01/29/2005

BARRETT Kimberli          

JAM 

PUR

8/12/2006

DOYLE Brian             

GBR

IRL

7/31/2006

HESS Mirjam                

SUI

LUX

7/17/2006

MARTINOVIC SESTAK Marija

SCG

SLO

7/13/2007

MONTAGUE Adam        

AUS

USA

7/27/2006

RADULOVIC Milan  

SCG

BIH

4/14/2006

ROBINSON Taneisha 

IRL

GBR 

10/10/2006

TUNKS Lieja                

NED

BRN

6/26/2007