BUENOS AIRES – The president of the International Association of Athletics Federations (IAAF) said on Wednesday that in a year and a half his association has “completely reformed” the sport with the aim of forming “clean athletes” in the future.
“We rewrote a constitution, we have an athletic integrity in it and the deal is not only just with anti-doping, but with corruption and other issues around betting,” Sebastian Coe said in an interview with EFE in Buenos Aires.
The British double 1,500-meter Olympic gold medalist in the 1980 and 1984 Olympics said he is happy to have achieved this reform in a short time since his challenge was the three questions that he needed to answer.
The president of the IAAF, which brings together 214 sport federations, explained that the first question was how to make decisions so that everyone understands them clearly; the second question was what kind of athletes they want in sports and the last question was how to make the sport grow as well as make it exciting and vibrant.
Coe, 62, highlighted the importance of unity for the athletic integrity of his association, referring to the action taken by the International Olympic Committee (IOC) during its 133rd meeting held in the Argentine capital, in which he also attended.
The Athletes’ Rights and Responsibilities Declaration addresses several issues such as integrity, clean sports, communications, discrimination and cases of harassment and abuse.
Precisely one of the challenges facing Coe in his time as the IAAF president are the sanctions imposed on Russia since 2015.
The IAAF sanctions on the Russian team, subsequently applied by the IOC for the 2016 Rio Olympic Games, came after the World Anti-Doping Agency (WADA) made two reports that revealing that the Russian Ministry of Sports orchestrated and covered up doping practices.
In July, the IAAF opened the possibility to readmit Russia if it meets certain requirements and although Coe welcomed that changes in Russia’s sports industry “have already been profound,” he was still cautious about the final decision.
Coe added that “the process is the process. Clearly we are not going to rehabilitate Russian athletes back into international competition with full national attribution until we are absolutely sure that the (new) system is reliable.”