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IAAF says it will elect its first female Vice-President this year




The International Association of Athletics Federations (IAAF) says it will elect its first female Vice-President this year.

The athletics sport’s governing body, in a statement on its website, said this would be part of efforts to ensure that women are represented at the highest levels of the sport.

“As part of the widespread reforms adopted by the IAAF Congress at the end of 2016, the IAAF has added minimum gender targets into its Constitution to establish parity at all levels in the sport’s governance.

“As we celebrate the International Women’s Day, six women currently sit on the IAAF Council. That number will increase to seven at this year’s elections in September.

“This will move to 10 in 2023, before reaching parity with male Council members in 2027.

“Following the election of the first female Vice-President at this year’s IAAF Congress, two of the four Vice-President positions will be filled by women in 2027,’’ the statement disclosed.

The IAAF Council established a Gender Leadership Taskforce in 2017 to work alongside the IAAF Women’s Committee to develop and organise global and regionally-specific programmes.

“This is to ensure a robust pipeline of eligible female candidates is available for this year’s elections and beyond.’’

Over the past 12 months, women’s leadership and administration seminars and symposiums have been held in five of the IAAF’s six Areas.

These include: Confederation of African Athletics (CAA) seminars in Cairo, Dakar and Nairobi; a European Athletics (EA) seminar in Brussels; and an Oceania Athletics Association (OAA) seminar in Auckland.

Jakarta will host an Asian Athletics Association (AAA) seminar later this year.

“On the International Women’s Day, I’m absolutely delighted to reinforce our commitment to gender balance in the governance structures of our sport,” IAAF President Sebastian Coe said in the statement.

“I formed our Gender Leadership Taskforce because I want to encourage more women into our sport and to provide the pathway and programmes to allow them to do that.

“We have equal opportunities for women in competition, and we are committed to having equal opportunities for women in all our governance structures.

“I have always believed that any organisation is stronger and more effective when women are properly represented at every level,’’ he added.

Speaking also, Stephanie Hightower, chair of the Gender Leadership Taskforce, said: “Setting targets is important, but evidence shows that targets must be supported by education and development programmes which bring more women in to all areas of the sport — from technical and medical officials to coaches and sport administrators.

“This needs a regional focus as the barriers to entry for women are as different as the countries they come from.”

Athletics has long been a pioneer both on and off the field of play in creating and ensuring gender equality.

On the field, athletics is one of the few sports where men and women compete at the same time in the same arena.

At major championships, the sport has an equal number of disciplines for men and women and offers the same prize money.

Off the field, women are increasingly taking on leadership and administrative roles.

At the IAAF headquarters, 51 percent of the staff are women, and 40 percent of those women are in managerial positions.

To commemorate Women’s History Month, over the course of the next three weeks the IAAF’s social media channels will celebrate the achievements of both pioneers and contemporaries in women’s athletics.


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IAAF grant: Nobody accused Gusau of complicity, says acting president



Mr Olamide George, the Acting President of Athletics Federation of Nigeria (AFN), said nobody accused  its suspended former president Ibrahim Gusau of any complicity in money that was received and spent before he was elected.


George said this on Tuesday in a news briefing at AFN Secretariat at  Moshood Abiola Stadium, Abuja .


He said the suspended President could not have been mentioned in the association’s finances prior to his assumption of office in July 2017.


He noted that the suspended president did not inform the board of the development until it was reported in the media.


NAN reports that Gusau was alleged to have spent without the approval of the federation the sum of $135,000 granted in error to AFN by IAAF.


The international body had written to the AFN to refund $135,000 of the said amount which it said was the excess of what was due AFN.


As the controversy raged, the sports ministry refunded the said amount while the AFN board went ahead to suspend Gusau for alleged misuse of the grant.


A proactive president would have called for a board meeting to address the issue since the money was sent before our inauguration,” George said.


According to him “AFN President has the right to call for a board meeting. The same constitution makes it the job of the secretary general to issue a notice to that effect.


George further noted that the suspended president failed to inform media that the board didn’t approve of the contract of PUMA and had no knowledge of it until it was signed.


He bought samples of PUMA to show the board members and he never said he had signed the 2.7 million dollars contract with PUMA,” he added.

Edited by: Donald Ugwu

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Why IAAF won’t ban Nigeria over Gusau’s suspension – Olamide George



The Acting President of the Athletics Federation of Nigeria (AFN) Mr Olamide George has allayed the fear that the International Association of Athletics Federations (IAAF) may  sanction the country following the suspension of Ibrahim Gusau.

Gusau is as the President of Athletics Federation of Nigeria (AFN) who was suspended on Tuesday by eight out of the 13  members of the board of the association for alleged flagrant violation of the federation’s constitution.

The board also accused Gusau of refusing to pay athletes, coaches and officials allowances during major international competitions.

It also accused him of reaching an agreement with sport wear manufacturer, PUMA, without the knowledge and approval of board or the secretary general who is the custodian of the federation’s documents, records and properties.

George, in an interview with NAN on Wednesday in Abuja, said that due process was followed in the process that led to Gusau’s suspension and that there was no faction in the board.

He also noted that the board had decided to constitute a five-man committee to investigate the circumstances that led to Gusau’s suspension and report to the board at its next meeting.

“In as much as we are doing things with the constitution, the code of governance and in as much as we are playing with the rules in the right way, we cannot be banned.

“If you are talking of faction you must consider numbers; we have eight members here and how many are we on the board, you must consider that.

“Solomon Ogba, the Board Chairman, has resigned, the Technical Director Sunday Adeleye has been recalled by ministry; how many of us are left,” George asked.

He commended the Minister of Sports and Youth Development, Mr Sunday Dare. for paying the balance of 135,000 dollars erroneously paid into the account of the AFN by the IAAF in 2017.

George also commended Dare for providing the fund for Nigeria’s participation at the concluded IAAF World Athletics Championship held in Doha between Sept. 27 and Oct. 6 and prayed for continuous support for AFN.

Edited & Vetted By: Chukwudi Ekezie

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IAAF licenced manager attributes dwindling state of athletics to lack of commitment by administrators



Omatseye Nesiama, an International Association of Athletics Federation (IAAF) licensed manager on Friday said that the dwindling state of athletics could be attributed to lack of commitment by administrators.

Nesiama, who was reacting to team Nigeria’s performance at the ongoing World Championships in Doha, said he believed that factors like funds and travel difficulties affected the team.

He told the Nigeria News Agency in Lagos that most administrators were skeptical to drop funds to allow athletes participate in championships, as monies given in the past were not be returned.

Nesiama said that such development reduced the zeal of administrators to want to work because they were afraid that their monies would not be re-inbursed.

He said that during his tenure as the Technical Director, Athletics Federation of Nigeria (AFN), he raised N15 million to ensure athletics qualified for the 2015 African Games and 2016 Olympics.

“I alongside my family committed the sum of N15 million for the purchase of tickets to qualify our team for the 2015 African Games and 2016 Olympics.

“Solomon Dalung who was the Minister at that time scrutinised everything and magnanimously approved the sum to be paid. Till date, a kobo hasn’t been paid.

“With this kind of development, do you think sports administrators will be willing to commit and make such sacrifices after knowing about what we faced?

“That is why I have taken a back seat,” he said.

Nesiama, a retired Commodore, however, appealed to the new Sports Minister, Sunday Dare to call a stakeholders meeting to ascertain where the problems emanate from.

“I want to call on the new sports minister to call a stakeholders meeting on some of these issues to know where the problem is coming from.

“Alot of people have made sacrifices in the past, they have been pushed away, the new ones on board know about what happened in the past and they find it difficult to make that commitment.

“That is why we have found ourselves the way we are today and I hope that we will be able to get off the blocks,” he said.

He also said that their efforts of raising such monies during their tenure yielded positively by putting the country on the continental and world map.

“Our effort yielded some of the best results we’ve achieved at the World and African level. Winning the African Youth, Junior and Senior Championships at the same time.

“A feat no other country has achieved, winning a gold medal at the World Relays in the Bahamas, silver and bronze medals at the World Championships in Moscow.

“Developmental programmes brought up the likes of Divine Oduduru, Tobi Amusan, Ese Brume, Usheoritse Itsekiri, Raymond Ekevwo and their likes,” he said.

He also proposed that the AFN’s Technical Committee be well constituted, become more effective to ensure checks and balances, especially for processes leading to major competitions to avoid what happened in Doha.

“The way forward to ensure that we don’t get disqualified in subsequent world championships is for the technical committee to be effective, well constituted and provide checks and balances.

“I will talk from my experience, to me, the assembling of the team to the world championships was a bit faulty, there was no clear cut plan.

“They were not aware of the number of athletes that will be able to make it until the last minute, probably due to miscellaneous reasons.

“Based on that, they couldn’t meet the team to effectively decide on the entries,” he said.

Nesiama is also a member of the Confederation of African Athletics (CAA) Technical and Competitions Commission. (NAN)


(Editing by Peter Ejiofor)

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Coe re-elected for second term as IAAF President



Sebastian Coe was re-elected as president of the International Association of Athletics Federations (IAAF) on Wednesday, and will begin his second term facing the same Russian problems that have dogged the sport through the Briton’s first stint.

Before the election, the IAAF voted overwhelmingly (164-30) not to reinstate Russia over reports that anti-doping data from a tainted Moscow laboratory had been tampered with before being handed over to the World Anti-Doping Agency.

Like Coe’s unopposed selection, the Russian decision was not a surprise with the IAAF having announced on Monday that Russia will miss the World Athletics Championships for the second time in succession due to a doping scandal.

Other election results saw Ukrainian pole vaulting great Sergey Bubka and Geoff Gardner of the Norfolk Islands voted in as vice-presidents.

Prince Nawaf bin Faisal of Saudi Arabia was elected ahead of Alberto Juantorena for the other vice president spot. (Reuters/)

(Edited by Emmanuel Okara/Peter Ejiofor)

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Shehu-Gusau, Ogba among 45 candidates eyeing positions at upcoming IAAF Council elections



Ibrahim Shehu-Gusau, President of the Athletics Federation of Nigeria (AFN), is among the 45 candidates vying for positions in the upcoming International Association of Athletics Federations (IAAF) Council elections.

The Nigeria News Agency reports that Shehu-Gusau is one of the eight male candidates in the list of 11 contenders for the four available Vice-President seats.

Among his opponents are a Kenyan, Jackson Tuwei, and the legendary Sergey Bubka of Ukraine who is a former pole vaulter and currently an IAAF Vice-President.

Solomon Ogba, one of Shehu-Gusau’s predecessors, is also a candidate for one of the available 13 Council seats on the international federation’s governing board.

For this individual Council member seats, 40 contenders are in line for the 13 seats, with 25 of them male and 15 female.

Those slugging it out with Ogba include former hurdler Nawal El Moutawakel of Morocco who won the inaugural women’s 400 metres hurdles event at the 1984 Olympics.

NAN reports that the list of 45 candidates, which was published on Friday, has contenders from across the globe with some of them vying for both Council and Vice-President positions.

The number, according to IAAF, is a six per cent increase on the number of candidates in 2015.

They will be elected into 18 positions on the IAAF Council, with 13 as members, four as Vice-Presidents and one as President, where the incumbent, Sebastian Coe, is the lone candidate.

However, one of the female contenders must be elected as one of the Vice-Presidents at the IAAF Congress slated for Sept. 25 in Doha, Qatar.

NAN also reports that the congress is holding two days ahead of the 2019 World Athletics Championships in Doha.

Meanwhile, to join the 18 Council members for a 26-member IAAF Council are eight others.

(Editing by Peter Ejiofor)

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Onitsha City Marathon gets AIMS, IAAF approval



The promoters of the first ever Onitsha City Marathon, known as the Onitsha Business School, says it has secured authorisation to organise the tournament in the commercial city of Anambra.

The Chairman, Media and Publicity of the race, Mr Philip Balepo, stated this in a statement made available to the News Agency of Nigeria in Onitsha on Saturday.

Balepo said that the Proprietor of the business school, Prof. Olusegun Sogbesan, received the certificates of approval by agents of the Association of International Marathon and Distance Races (AIMS) and International Association of Athletics Federations (IAAF).

According to him, a well known marathon organiser, Nigeria’s Yusuf Alli, presented the two certificates for the 10-kilometer and 21-kilometre races to Sogbesan in Lagos.

“The 21 kilometres cover the half marathon while the 10 kilometres represent a road race in the mode of Okpekpe Road Race, which has held in Okpekpe Town, Edo in the last seven years.

“The certificates gave authority to the Onitsha marathon organisers to simultaneously stage the two races in one.

“Those calibres of races are dominated by elite athletes coming from many parts of the world,” he further stated.

Balepo explained that the certificates had a life span of five years.

He said that the authority meant that the race would be organised between now and 2023, when the certificates would be due for renewal.

“This is the first time that certificates would be presented to an organiser ahead of the race.

“Even the Okpekpe Road Race Promoter, Mike Itemuagbo, was presented with the certificate a few years after commencement of the race,” Balepo noted.

(Edited by Sam Oditah)






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Russia’s Olympic chief regrets IAAF extension of doping ban – TASS





Russia’s Olympic chief regrets IAAF extension of doping ban says  TASS



The IAAF extended the ban on Sunday and also said it was investigating after Reuters reported that banned Russian coaches were still working with athletes.



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IAAF Fund: AFN wants Ministry to release $135, 000 over payment report



The Athletics Federation of Nigeria (AFN) has called for the release of the probe report, by the Ministry of Sports on the 135, 000 dollars over payment, by the world athletics ruling body (IAAF) to Nigeria.

The Technical Director of AFN, Sunday Adeleye, made the call in an interview with the media, on Wednesday in Abuja.

The News Agency of Nigeria reports that the IAAF had in 2017 mistakenly paid 150, 000 dollars (54million naira) instead of 15, 000 dollars (5.4 million naira), to the AFN in 2017, as grant to support its activities.

The global athletics body contacted the AFN, in March 2018, when the anomaly was detected, and asked AFN to refund the sum of 135, 000 dollars that was wrongfully credited.

He said that the amount has not been refunded till date, and the IAAF was threatening to ban Nigeria.

Adeleye however alleged that the money was paid to AFN account prior to the inauguration of the present board, stressing that the board met an empty treasury when it came on board in July 2017.

“The outgoing board was going and we were coming in as a new board, this money came into the Federation and it got missing.

“We have documents of the whole transaction and what happened to that money.

“It is unfortunate that we will now be used as scapegoats. We wrote the then Minister (Solomon Dalung) when the issue of excess payment by IAAF came up, and asked him to do something before it generates against the country.

“The ministry set up a probe panel but it later stopped the probe. Why did the Minister stop the probe?

“What was the outcome of the probe? Let the ministry bring out the report of the probe panel,” he said.

On why the current leadership of the AFN board should be absolved of the controversy, he said the Board did not approve the release of any money from the said amount.

“Ibrahim Gusau (AFN President) never met any money in the account of AFN. We don’t know anything about the 150,000  dollars IAAF fund, people who know about the money are already making promise to pay 50 per cent.

“The ministry will pay because the Secretary-General of the Federation, at the time who was the signatory to the account, is a staff of the ministry.

“He is the eye and mouthpiece of the Ministry,” he said.

The ex- international also alleged that the immediate past minister was attempting to create chaos within the AFN board.

We were not invited for a meeting as a board to the ministry, but some very few people among us were invited.

“I just got to the meeting and I saw about four people saying that they are the executive board of (AFN).

“For the record, 13 people constitute the board of AFN and whereby you have three, four people signing and saying they want to suspend the president of the of Federation just because they had the backing of the former minister.

NAN reports that seven out of 12 board members of the AFN had allegedly impeached the AFN President, Ibrahim Gusau, in the Ministry of Sports on Tuesday.

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Athletics statistician urges early preparation for Africa Games, IAAF World Championships



Olalekan Soetan, an athletics statistician, on Thursday called for early preparation ahead of the All Africa Games and International Association of Athletics Federations (IAAF) Championships.

Soetan gave the advice in an interview with the News Agency of Nigeria in Lagos while reacting to the dismal performance of Nigerian athletes at the IAAF World Relays in Yokohama, Japan.

He attributed the poor showing at the competition, held from May 11 to May 12, to lack of build-up competitions.

According to him, if Nigeria is to perform excellently in any competition, there must be early build-up competitions.

“My final take on the poor outing in Japan can be attributed to lack of build-up competitions prior to this world class event.

“And we need to camp our athletes soon, to ensure that we have enough time to prepare them well enough, before the next big events, All Africa Games.

“And hopefully, the athletes should run some international competitions, to hit the qualifying standards set by IAAF for relays at the World Championships,” he said.

NAN reports that All Africa Games will hold in Rabat, Morocco, from Aug. 19 to Aug. 31; while the IAAF World Championships will hold from Sept. 28 to Oct.6 in Doha, Qatar.

Soetan, however, lauded the country’s 4x100m women’s team, saying they are young and requiring additional exposure.

“Team Nigeria featured at the 2019 World Relays for two main reasons: for qualification purpose, which forms part of the requirements to feature our relay teams at the next World Championships.

“Two, was to expose our young athletes, who would soon replace our trusted matured legs.

“All in preparation for a good outing at this year’s All Africa Games, World Championships and ultimately, Tokyo Olympics, which is next year,” he said.

He also commended the team for exchanging the baton smoothly.

“The 4x100m women relay was strictly for exposure purpose; two of the trusted legs declined our invitation at the last minute.

“Therefore, we had a choice not to feature or allow our two young sprinters gain the necessary exposure at one of the highest levels of athletics competition.

“We are glad that they managed to pass the baton round smoothly, which in itself a success story,” Soetan said.

He said that though the other teams did not perform up to expectations, there was room for improvement.

Nigeria featured 11 athletes that competed in four relays; 4x100m women; 4x100m men; 4x400m women and 4x200m men.


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