(ATR) New Athletics Federation chief executive Olivier Gers says the Diamond League Series’ new format will provide a greater fan experience.
IAAF CEO Olivier Gers with Qatari high jumper Mutaz Barshim. (ATR)
“The Diamond League is a great event and a marquee event for us,” Gers tells Around the Rings
on the latest edition of ATRadio from Doha, Qatar. “There will be high stake finals with really a crescendo of storytelling from [Friday] all the way until the end of the season.”
The 2017 Diamond League Series begins Friday, May 5 in Doha as is tradition for the International Association of Athletics Federations’ second-biggest event behind the World Championships. Friday marks the debut of the new format announced in 2016 that increases the stakes with greater prize money and a qualification system for the final event at the end of summer.
“We will be able to tell the story of these athletes and their journey in the summer and how it culminates into winning big prize money at the end of the year,” Gers says on the eve of the series’ first leg.
The return of track and field competitions will serve as a welcome distraction for the IAAF, which has experienced its fair share of issues in recent years with the Russian doping scandal and ethics scandals involving its former leadership.
Gers says he and IAAF president Sebastian Coe have been hard at work to get the federation back on the right track.
“It’s about establishing the right basis, the right foundation of integrity in the sport to ensure that there was no more of the issues of the past that were tolerated,” he tells ATR
Editor Ed Hula. “We’re clearly sending a signal to the cheaters or the abusers, anyone not respecting the sport that those days were over.”
Listen below for the full conversation with Gers and Hula below:
Written by Kevin Nutley
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