Press Release16 Jun 2020

ASOIF governance review recognises significant progress in World Athletics reform agenda


World Athletics headquarters (© WA)

World Athletics has been recognised for its governance improvements, including its constitutional reforms and sustainability strategy, in the Third Review of International Federation Governance conducted by ASOIF (the Association of Summer Olympic International Federations).

ASOIF published the review today, ranking World Athletics in the A2 band of international federations and noting considerable improvement since the previous review was done in 2017-18.

Over the past four years World Athletics has been almost solely focused on reforming the processes by which it makes decisions, making sure that individuals making those decisions are representative, high quality and are held accountable for those decisions.

There has been a sustained focus on improving governance, structures and processes within the organisation. This has included the introduction of major constitutional changes in 2017 and 2019 to ensure that World Athletics meets the expected standards of governance for a modern global organisation.

In 2017, these reforms included the creation of the Athletics Integrity Unit, vetting and disciplinary processes, inclusion of the athlete’s voice to the ruling Council and progress on gender equality at all levels of the sport through the work of the Gender Leadership Taskforce.

In 2019, there were further improvements in the areas of election processes, gender equality and transparency.

The ASOIF governance review recognised World Athletics as an exemplary organisation in the areas of its anti-doping and manipulation of competition codes, integrity investigations, gender balance, election campaign rules, electoral processes and rules, due diligence/risk management in the allocation of events and the awarding of events following transparent processes. 

World Athletics will continue to make further progress in its drive for better governance this year, particularly in regard to greater transparency, as well as further improving its control mechanisms following the establishment of the Executive Board.

The global coronavirus pandemic, which led to the furloughing of 60 percent of our headquarters staff from April, has delayed this process, but the federation still managed to announce its new Sustainability Strategy in April, and complete its new Strategic Plan (summary published earlier in June), which will be published in full before the end of the month.

In the coming months, World Athletics will be in a position to publish its annual report and audited accounts for 2019 on its website, along with agendas, minutes and decisions of its Congresses, Council Meetings and Commissions.

World Athletics president Sebastian Coe thanked the ASOIF Governance Taskforce for its commitment to promoting good governance and said he was determined to complete the reform process begun in 2016.

“I want to thank our Council, Area Associations and Member Federations for their diligent work over the last four years to reshape the way in which our sport is governed. Our headquarters staff are working hard to finish the remaining tasks required to complete our governance reforms, notwithstanding the disruption caused by the pandemic.

“We still need to fill some independent roles to support the Executive Board and the Council and establish greater transparency but we are confident that work can be completed this year.”

ASOIF's summary scores





Transparency (out of 40)
















Control mechanisms




Total (out of 200)




World Athletics