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Bring back the personalities in athletics

One of the big questions people asked after this year’s world championships is how track and field would move on without Usain Bolt. The legendary sprinter, who has been the headline name in the sport for the last nine year, is now officially retired. It is not just his performances that the sport needs, but the void created by his entertainment skills will be even harder to fill. Directly after the World Championships IAAF President Sebastian Coe told the Daily Mail that personalities have slowly become a rarity in track and field and we need more characters in our sport. I couldn’t agree more. Read more

The IAAF Admitted it Failed, But No One Listened

Tomorrow the World Anti-Doping Agency will release the McLaren Report, which will provide a detailed look at allegations that arose in May regarding systemic cheating by Russia to win medals at the 2014 Sochi Olympics. While the main focus is on winter sports, it is expected that the report will take a broader look at Russian doping practices across many sports. These allegations will no doubt be used by the IAAF in defending its decision to ban Russia track and field team from the 2016 Olympics. Russia no doubt is doing things wrong, but don’t let us be distracted from the fact that the IAAF is equally culpable. The IAAF needs to implement major changes if track and field has any chance of being cleaned up. Read more

7 Facts About Doping And The Russian Situation

Earlier this morning Sergej Litvinov was informed by the IAAF that his application for exceptional eligibility to compete at the 2016 Olympics was declined along with 66 other athletes. (The rejection did not address all of the grounds for exception raised in Litvinov’s 13-page application, and we are in further communication with them to clarify these points.) In reading through the decision, some initial social media reactions, and media reports it is clear that the big picture is being overlooked. With that in mind, I’ve put together a primer on the topic that helps put the Russia doping issue in context. Read more

An Open Letter to Sebastian Coe (by Sergej Litvinov)

Editor’s Note: Last week the IAAF announced that the Russian athletics team will not be eligible to compete in the upcoming Olympic Games due systemic doping issues. Sergej Litvinov is the Russian champion in the hammer throw and placed 5th at last year’s World Championships. This week he wrote the following letter to Lord Sebastian Coe, President of the IAAF, asking what he can personally do to compete again.

Dear Lord Coe,

When it was announced that the Russian team will be banned from the upcoming Olympics last week, the common reaction here in Russia was denial mixed with anger. Many top athletes and officials continue to deny the scope of the problem and are angry that Russia is being singled out while similar issues exist in many places across the world.

I am not in denial. Read more

Show Us Your Hammer Lord Coe

One month from today the IAAF will elect their next president. Two candidates are vying for the position: Lord Sebastian Coe and Sergey Bubka.

Both Coe and Bubka have stellar resumés that will surely push the sport forward. But sometimes it is a bit difficult to see the differences between them. Read more