IAAF President Lamine Diack of Senegal, on the eve of the 12th IAAF World Championships in Athletics in Berlin assures a clean World championship at the IAAF / LOC Official Press Conference ahead of the comencement of the athletics show tommorrow.
Full text of President Diack speech
“We have gathered more than 2000 athletes and 1000 officials from close to 200 members of the IAAF Family to our Congress and World Championships, a visible confirmation of the universality of the number 1 Olympic sport.
I am very proud to lead the IAAF as we approach our 100th Anniversary in 2012. In this period, with the support of the IAAF Family, I am confident that we will achieve our most important goals.
We must improve the appeal of our sport to young people, ensuring that Athletics is the number one sport in schools, and achieve the goals of the IAAF Athletics’ World Plan in time for our centenary in 2012, securing the sport’s future for the next generation, and continue to lead the way in the fight against doping.
In challenging times, we need to consolidate our financial security, and build new commercial partnerships in places like Europe and the USA but also in emerging markets such as Brazil, Russia, India, China and Korea.
We will continue the process of delegating responsibilities to the Areas while empowering them with the tools they need to develop our sport, and we continue to invest heavily in the worldwide development of the sport.
We will continue the work of harmonising National, Area and International competition calendars and implementing a new worldwide circuit – which will be headed by the new IAAF Diamond League from 2010, presenting our sport in an exciting and relevant way to attract a new generation of fans.
Thanks to the performances of our best athletes, the IAAF World Championships has grown in status and appeal so that it fully deserves its status as one of the top 3 world sporting events.
The iconic Berlin Olympic Stadium, with its striking blue track, hopes to welcome around half a million spectators over this period while over 6 billion television viewers around the world are likely to see the world’s best athletes in action either in live or delayed action and on news reports.
I am very pleased that the rights to show Berlin 2009 were sold to 213 countries around the world, for the first time in our history.
I am also glad that we will be returning to Germany, a country that loves athletics and has a long tradition in our sport. The 1936 Olympic Games took place in this very stadium, but Germany also staged the Olympics in Munich in 1972, and also a memorable edition of the IAAF World Championships in Stuttgart in 1993.
The German Athletics Federation DLV has also supported other IAAF World Athletics Series events held in this country including, most recently, the World Athletics Final in Stuttgart and of course, we have all enjoyed the annual ISTAF meeting which helps to keep international athletics in the public eye.
On all these occasions, we have been sure of two things: an excellent level of technical organization of the competition, and a warm and knowledgeable crowd of German spectators to motivate the athletes to great performances.
Perhaps the most iconic legend of our sport Jesse Owens of the USA, won his four Olympic golds in this very stadium in 1936, and I am very pleased to announce that IAAF has supported USA Track and Field’s initiative to honour Jesse, who I was privileged to meet at the Munich Olympic Games in 1972, and I am pleased that we have the possibility to invite his relatives not only to attend this event, but to meet the family of Luz Long, his great rival for Long Jump gold in 1936. I am delighted that they will be able to present the medals following the men’s long jump final next week.
Owens was famous not just for his gold medals in Berlin but for breaking or equalling 4 World records in less than 1 hour at a meeting in Ann Arbor USA in 1935. If we are fortunate enough to have World records in Berlin, I am glad to announce that we have a World Record Programme supported by TDK and TOYOTA – offering 100,000 US dollars to the winners.
As for anti-doping, this edition of the World Championships in Athletics will be subject to the largest Anti-Doping programme ever conducted by the IAAF – with 1130 tests anticipated (670 pre-event and 460 in competition).
The samples will be tested at two labs in Germany – Dresden and Cologne – but negative samples will also be stored for testing at a later date should the need arise.
But as well as the drug testing the IAAF plans significant educational activities with an Outreach Project and an interactive programme in 5 languages called ‘Real Winner’ which encourages direct interaction with athletes to raise awareness about the importance of anti-doping.”