Christian Taylor, a seven-time Diamond League champion, has announced the formation of The Athletics Association, an association for all professional athletes from across the globe and has encouraged athletes worldwide to join and take back power from the IAAF.
The move is a direct reaction to the IAAF’s decision to cut eight events – four male and four female – from the Diamond League for the coming season. The decision is based on the Diamond League attempting to compact the meetings into a 90-minute programme for the purposes of television broadcasts.
The IAAF said surveys conducted in China, France, South Africa and the USA as well as post-event surveys in Belgium, Great Britain and Switzerland and click-throughs on Diamond League social media videos during 2019, informed its decision.
The disciplines being cut are the 200m, discus, 3000m steeplechase, and the triple jump. Taylor is a two-time Olympic champion and a four-time world champion in the event. He now stands to lose out on his ability to earn from the event that he has dominated for a decade.
“For some time, I have been in discussion with other elite Track and Field athletes and we have been talking about how we can have a greater say in the future of the sport,” Taylor said in a statement released on Thursday.
“We will fight for the athlete’s rights and ultimately demand a seat at the table and a say in how our sport is run and how the sport can grow and evolve without ripping out it’s very core,” he said.
At the moment we, the athletes, have no power. Yes, there is an Athletes Commission but we need something independent of the IAAF/World Athletics.”
He encouraged athletes from across the globe to register with the association and follow their social media accounts.
The IAAF’s decision to cut the events from the Diamond League programme has been met with backlash from athletes from across the globe. (www.sportsmax.tv)