For immediate release: Friday 9th November, 2018
The Association of Athletics Managers (AAM), a group of the world’s leading agents in Athletics, held its annual meeting in Lisbon over the course of the last two days. (6-7 November).
More than forty of the World’s leading athlete representatives from the International Association of Athletics Federations (IAAF), the CFO of the Diamond League, Meeting Directors of the Diamond League and World Indoor Tour, the Athletics Integrity Unit (AIU), shoe companies and the Portugese Cabinet Secretary for Sports, Mr Joa Rebelo were in attendance.
This high-level, two-day meeting came at a crucial time to discuss the latest developments within global Track and Field. The two major areas of discussion that stood out were the new IAAF World Rankings system and the future of the IAAF Diamond League starting in 2020 and beyond.
While there was broad consensus on the need for a world rankings system among stakeholders, there was significant unease from the AAM and the other stakeholders about the use of the World Rankings as a qualification tool for the 2019 Doha World Championships and the 2020 Tokyo Olympics. The AAM’s primary interest is to ensure that the athletes’ voice is heard, especially when major changes to our sport are discussed and ultimately to be implemented. As became clear during the presentations, consultation with athletes and their representatives had not taken place. There were numerous athlete interests with regard to the new World Rankings that the AAM does not believe have been fully considered. On behalf of the athletes, the AAM asked for flexibility on the implementation timeline of the major championship qualification aspect of the new system. While the AAM and athletes fully supports the concept of the World Rankings, it seems clear that a trial period for the validity of the rankings is required before they can be used as the primary means to qualify for major championships.
The AAM also supports the vision to modernise and change the IAAF Diamond League from 2020 onwards. However, on behalf of the athletes, we are very sensitive to vulnerabilities that may inadvertently occur to long-standing, major meetings. The athletes seek improvements in the Diamond League that present our sport in the best possible way, while supporting and improving the key aspects of the current, successful circuit.
Innovation, creativity and new thinking is required within our sport, and the AAM is pleased to see that this is the priority of the IAAF. We look forward to being a key partner in this process.
The AAM and the athletes we represent will continue to work to improve collaboration between the IAAF, Diamond League, shoe and apparel companies, and other key stakeholders in the sport. We sit at an important time in our sport, and the best path forward will be forged with all of the sport’s key stakeholders working together.
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