Sebastian Coe at the 228th World Athletics Council Meeting (© Getty Images)
A number of key decisions were made at the 228th World Athletics Council Meeting, held on 13-14 July on the eve of the World Athletics Championships Oregon22.
Olympic relays trials
With the changed schedule of future World Athletics Relays from odd to even years, starting in 2024, the Council decided that the next edition will serve as Olympic Trials for the relay events.
Fourteen of the 16 places in the relay fields for the Paris Olympic Games will be filled at the World Athletics Relays 2024, with the remaining two teams to be identified from the performance list during the qualification window.
Overview of the new competition format:
- 32 teams in each discipline
- 20 races on each day
Day one (40 teams qualify for the Olympic Games): 20 heats across five events. Top two from each heat qualifies for the Olympic Games.
Day two (an additional 30 teams qualify for the Olympic Games): 15 repechage heats and five finals across five events. Top two from each repechage heat qualify for the Olympic Games. The finalists will compete for Olympic seeding as well as prize money.
Support for Label road races
The second generation of the Label Road Race Sustainability Programme has been approved and features several new elements, including the introduction of requirements aligned with World Athletics’ Sustainability Programme to the label race programme for 2023.
Also, a solidarity fund for elite distance runners is being introduced to further the development of distance running.
Label races will also be offered a range of services, including attendance at race medicine education initiatives.
Independent audit into RusAF’s processes and progress
Following an update from the Russian Taskforce, the Council approved the recommendation that an independent audit of RusAF’s processes and progress against the reinstatement plan and KPIs should be conducted mid to late October 2022.
The Taskforce will also continue its oversight and monitoring of RusAF’s implementation of the reinstatement plan, and report on the outcome of the audit at the next Council Meeting in November 2022.
Addressing competition manipulation
During the qualification period for the 2021 Olympic Games, the Athletics Integrity Unit received 17 individual competition referrals for investigation of suspicious Olympic qualification standards.
As a consequence, the Council today approved the introduction of a ‘Competition Manipulation Watchlist’.
Once this is established, World Athletics will be able to place federations considered at high risk of competition manipulation on the list and proactively place conditions on the acceptance of qualifying performances achieved in the jurisdiction of such federations.
World Athletics will not recognise results achieved at competitions hosted by Member Federations on the Competition Manipulation Watchlist, except for the following:
Official international or area championships
Competitions which form part of the following international competition structures:
World Indoor Tour
World Race Walking Tour
World Combined Events Tour
World Cross Country Tour
World Athletics Label Road Races
National championships, provided certain conditions are fulfilled and subject to World Athletics approval.
These events must be attended by international competition delegates appointed by World Athletics to ensure they are conducted appropriately.