LORD Coe has been elected as the new president of the International Athletics Federations.
Here, we take a look at five of the key areas he needs to focus on.
FIGHT AGAINST DRUGS
The battle against banned drugs is Coe’s biggest challenge, particularly in the wake of damaging allegations of widespread doping in the sport and accusations of cover-ups. He has pledged to set up an independent anti-doping agency for athletics and needs to increase public faith in both athletes and the organisation if the reputation of athletics is going to improve.
Coe has highlighted the need for a more structured calendar and the need to be more innovative in how they present the sport. ‘Street Meets’, like the hugely successful event in Manchester city centre, attract new spectators to the sport, and Coe said in his manifesto he wants to consider an ‘IAAF Street Athletics’ circuit in major cities across the world. He also wants to increase the quality on show at the Diamond League events, the IAAF’s flagship one-day meetings.
INCREASE YOUTH PARTICIPATION
Coe needs to attract more young people into the sport, both fans and participants, something which has become an increasing challenge given the competing activities on offer to them. He has said he will form a new IAAF division to focus exclusively on engaging with young people.
STRENGTHEN NATIONAL FEDERATIONS
Coe’s plan for an Olympic Athletics Dividend, which would provide at least USD 100,000 of extra funding over four years to all 214 IAAF member federations, to be financed by the money the IAAF receives from the International Olympic Committee, was well received by the smaller nations.
The Diamond League is without a headline sponsor and in such a competitive sporting marketplace athletics needs to make the most of its global appeal to top up the coffers.