Press Release06 Mar 2018

Council takes steps to further strengthen athletics – IAAF Council Meeting, Birmingham, day two


IAAF Council Meeting in Birmingham (© IAAF)

The second day of the 213th meeting of the IAAF Council took place today in Birmingham City’s Council House, chaired by IAAF President Sebastian Coe.

Topics discussed included revised hyperandrogenism regulations, transfers of allegiance and the global calendar. Council was also presented with the latest report by the IAAF Taskforce Independent Chairman Rune Andersen.

“Never before in the history of our sport have we made so many monumental decisions on a single day,” said IAAF President Sebastian Coe. “Many months of difficult work culminated in these two days. Now we can proceed with the equally difficult tasks of implementing those decisions as we continue to revolutionise our sport.”


In July 2015 the Court of Arbitration for Sport asked the IAAF to provide further evidence as to the degree of performance advantage that hyperandrogenic female athletes have over athletes with normal testosterone levels.

Based on the evidence that’s been collected, Council approved a request to revise the competition regulations for track events whose distances range from 400 metres up to and including one mile. Following some further drafting the regulations will be communicated to CAS before being released. It is anticipated that the regulations to go into effect on 1 November 2018.

“This is one of the toughest subjects my Council and I are discussing,” IAAF President Sebastian Coe said. “This is not about cheating. No hyperandrogenic athlete has cheated. This is about our responsibility as a sport federation to ensure a level playing field. It is for us to decide the rules, to draw the lines for competition.

“We choose to have two classifications for our competition – men’s events and women’s events. This means we need to be clear about the competition criteria for these two categories. We have always believed that testosterone, either naturally produced or artificially inserted into the body, provides significant performance advantages.” 

Transfer of Allegiance

Following the recommendations from the Transfer of Allegiance Working Group, Council agreed to a set of principles regarding transfers of allegiance in athletics, which include:

- a minimum three-year waiting period for athletes wanting to transfer from one country to another
- the establishment of a review panel that will determine the credibility of applications
- evidence that countries are offering full citizenship and associated rights
- the provision that an athlete can transfer only once in their career, and
- that no transfers take place before the age of 20.


While the specific rules are being drafted for approval at the July meeting of Council in Buenos Aires, the IAAF’s current freeze on transfers will remain in effect.

RusAF suspension extended

Rune Andersen, the independent chairman of the IAAF Taskforce, delivered its latest report on the reinstatement of the Russian Athletics Federation (RusAF). The Taskforce’s recommendation, which Council unanimously approved, was that RusAF was not ready for reinstatement.

While some conditions have been met, the commission reported, several key areas have still not been satisfied by RusAF and RUSADA including providing a test distribution plan for 2018 that shows an adequate amount of testing and demonstrating that is has fixed legal issues making it unable to enforce provisional doping bans of athletics coaches. Additionally, RUSADA has still not yet been reinstated by WADA as a fully compliant independent body.

Council has agreed that if progress is not made, further measures should be discussed at the July Council meeting as a means of prompting greater efforts in Russia, including withdrawing permission for Russian athletes to compete as neutrals athletes, and ultimately taking the steps necessary to recommend to Congress that RusAF be expelled from IAAF membership.

[Read the full report.]

Global calendar update

Following several months of extensive consultation with groups including athletes and fans, Council agreed to a calendar framework that helps provide an understandable and set rhythm for our sport.

The framework, with fixed dates for IAAF World Athletics Series events, is as follows: 

- The World Cross Country Championships on the second weekend of February
- The World Indoor Championships on the second weekend of March
- The World Half Marathon Championships on the last weekend of March
- The Race Walking Team Championships, allowed some flexibility, in either April or May
- The World Relays on the first weekend in May
- The World U20 Championships, allowed some flexibility, to be held in July
- The World Championships on the last weekend of August or first weekend of September, to officially end the season.