Four Caribbean federations support IAAF reforms

Bridgetown (Barbados), Aug 3 (IANS) Four Caribbean members of the International Association of Athletics Federations (IAAF) are supporting calls for reforms to the sport’s world governing body.

Member federations from Grenada, St. Vincent and the Grenadines, St. Lucia and the United States Virgin Islands have submitted proposals to make changes to the constitution of the IAAF at its Congress in Beijing this month, CMC reported.

They are supporting Amadeo Francis, a former president of North American, Central American and Caribbean Athletics Association (NACAC). The Puerto Rican was also an IAAF vice-president.

Among the reforms proposed are changes to the constitution to include limiting future elected IAAF presidents to three consecutive terms (12 years); provided that candidates must be under 70 years of age as of the year of their election and also provide for one of the four elected vice-presidents to be a female.

The member federations, who are supported by Nicaragua and Hungary, also proposed a new system for conducting the election process for members and officers of the council and committees.

“It was quite an effort to get the leaders of the federations that have individually submitted the proposed amendments to the constitution to comprehend and assume a pro-active position on these reform items which I hope will continue when, as sponsors of the legislation, they are perforce entitled to speak on behalf of each of their amendments,” said Francis.

“These amendments are not unique; rather they were first introduced by the International Olympic Committee (IOC) in 1999, when faced with a major crisis as to the transparency and credibility of that body, the members under the leadership of Juan Antonio Samaranch established that the tenure of newly-elected members would terminate in the year in which they reached their 70th birthday, and limited the tenure of the elected president to 12 years.”

He said that it is also right that the IAAF should assure that there is at least one representative of the female community in its critical day-to-day decision-making body.

“Women are a vital pillar of our sport and should be present at the heart of the decision-making process at all steps, improving opportunities for women as we move forward in our sport,” he said.

The 50th IAAF Congress will be held in Beijing from August 18 to 20 where a new president will be chosen.

Sebastian Coe, the double Olympic 1,500 metres gold medallist and former London 2012 chairman, is competing against Sergey Bubka, the former Olympic pole vault champion from Ukraine, to succeed Lamine Diack.

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