IAAF President Lamine Diack with IOC President Jacques Rogge in Helsinki (© Getty Images)
HelsinkiWith cooperation as the underlying theme, a review of the recent past and a discussion of the future were the highlights of today’s meeting between the International Olympic Committee (IOC) Executive Board and the IAAF Council.
“We had a very fruitful meeting,” said IAAF President Lamine Diack, describing what he called the now-traditional gathering between the two decision-making bodies held on the eve of each IAAF World Championships. “It was a particular pleasure to meet again in Helsinki, the site of our first World Championships meeting 22 years ago.”
Noting the close relationship between the two bodies, which currently share five members, IOC President Jacques Rogge declared, “Athletics can really be described as the number one Olympic sport.”
Among the topics discussed were the success of last summer’s Olympic Games and the ongoing cooperation between the two global organizations on key issues facing the sport.
“We were happy about the financial success of the Olympic Games, which allowed the IOC to give a substantial amount of money to the IAAF after Athens,” said Rogge. USD 24 million was provided to the IAAF after the Athens Games, a dramatic increase from the 8 million provided after the 1996 Olympics and the 17 million allocated after Sydney five years ago.
“We hope to of course go over this after Beijing,” Rogge said.
The two organizations’ united fight against doping was also discussed.
“We have worked very closely with the IAAF in anti-doping issues,” said Rogge, adding that the IAAF has always been at the forefront on the issue. “There is a very strong relationship between the IAAF and IOC on this issue.
Rogge also said that recent decisions by the IAAF Council and Congress that expanded the role of women in the decision-making process was a strong precedent for other sport governing bodies, as well as for the IOC.
“I said at this morning’s meeting that I was jealous of the achievements of the IAAF in women and sports and the position of women in leadership. This is something important for the IOC,” Rogge said, noting the election of Irena Szewinska to the IAAF Council and the addition of another woman’s seat in 2007. “But we are not showing a good example by having just one woman on the Executive Board of the IOC. So we have to look at what the IAAF is doing and try to achieve what they are doing.”
Among other topics discussed was the possible addition of the women’s 3000m Steeplechase to the Olympic programme in either 2008 or 2012.
“President Diack made a very strong case for the event’s inclusion,” Rogge said, adding that the issue will be discussed again in more detail at the next IOC Executive meeting in November.
Bob Ramsak for the IAAF