Lord Coe and Sergey Bubka are the only two candidates in the election to be the next President of the IAAF but at a time when athletics is in crisis aren’t they just a bit too conservative?
It says so much about doping in sport being a day-to-day reality rather than some isolated patches of ghastliness that despite the recent revelations made by the investigators from ARD/WDR and the Sunday Times people still want to be President of the International Association of Athletics Federations, the IAAF. If the allegations had been a shock of the magnitude they should have been the candidates up for election would have withdrawn.
Denmark To Vote For Seb
• 1500m runner favorite to be IAAF Prez
• Bubka may remain vice-president
• Doping allegations crisis looms
They didn’t. The whistleblower at the IAAF who leaked the data that shows evidence of widespread so called “blood doping” in the top flight of athletics between 2001 and 2012 might have been gambling news coverage of the scandal would impress upon the organization the need for change, for a review of the manner in which it has sought to combat doping, and how it’s refusal to do so, perhaps to save public face, will, in the end, be counterproductive.
Far from it. The continuity both candidates up for election represent is all but breathtaking in its refusal to notice there’s something amiss in the world of athletics. Sergei Bubka, currently the Vice President of the IAAF squares off against his only rival the ever emollient Sebastian Coe, now officially Lord Coe, and favorite to take the job when the voting’s done. Neither one is an outsider, neither one a new broom, this looks worryingly like business as usual.
Blood Doping Widespread
For any more evidence of their desire to cling on to the way they’ve been doing things just note that Bubka, who is a former Olympic pole-vault champion that set 35 world records in his time, has also put his name forward to continue being Vice President, perhaps hoping they’ll give it to him as a consolation prize after Lord Coe strolls off with the big hat. Given there are four Vice Presidential posts the sad fact is they probably will.
Those that like to bet on sports in Denmark might be interested to know their own Athletics federation has already promised to back Coe come vote on the 19th of August, announcing their intentions this week with Karsten Munkvad saying “Athletics is facing a number of challenges,” which has to go down as the understatement of the year. The Danes think Coe is the right man for the job, apparently and so do 18 other countries that have backed the former 1500m runner.
“The Danish Athletic Federation acknowledge Sergey Bubka’s campaign and the world the current vice-president has done for the world of Athletics.” Said Munkvad, “A choice has to be made and we feel we have made the right one. Nevertheless I want to express our respect for Sergey Bubka; not only for his campaign, but also for his leadership within our sport. If Sebastian Coe is elected as our new President, we sincerely hope, that Mr. Bubka will continue his work for the IAAF as vice-president.”
55 Gold Medals In Doubt
With a full third of medals won at World Championships and Olympic Games between 2001 and 2012, which includes 55 golds, having been taken by athletes with suspicious doping test results to say the IAAF is in trouble. Robin Parisotto, one of the foremost experts on anti-doping in the world, has looked the leaked data over and been quoted as saying “Never have I seen such an alarmingly abnormal set of blood values.”
“So many athletes appear to have doped with impunity, and it is damning that the IAAF appears to have idly sat by and let this happen.” Parisotto continued, which means perhaps the IAAF needs a new approach, so that people who wager on the athletes, be it at ComeOn! Sportsbook or an Anguilla Casino, can be sure they’re not being treated to an unfair competition. With the World Championships later this month in Beijing you’d think they’d be falling over themselves to do so.
They’re not. If you’re Danish gambling laws of common sense would apply be ready for a disappointment, the process is already locked in and whichever way the result goes, and whomever your own national athletics federation votes for, the IAAF will roll on much as it has done before. Coe has hoping for a “robust” response to these new allegations, probably hoping if it’s robust enough the problem will be swept under the carpet before he takes the reins.