By Prof Dr Ian Blackshaw
The World Governing Body of Track and Field, the IAAF (International Association of Athletics Federations), has appointed Brett Clothier as the first head of its new independent Athletics Integrity Unit (AIU).
The AIU, recently set up to oversee athletics’ anti-doping initiatives, is one of the key reforms introduced in November last year by IAAF President, Seb Coe, following the Russian athletes’ doping scandals, which rocked the sport in the lead up to the 2016 Rio Summer Olympics.
The AIU began operating officially in April 2017.
Clothier brings a wealth of experience to this important position, having set up and led for over 8 years the AFL Aussie Football Rules Integrity Unit.
Commenting on his appointment, Clothier said:
“Athletics is one of the few genuinely global sports. Through the AIU it has an unparalleled opportunity to demonstrate leadership on integrity issues ……… I am excited by the opportunity …. to lead the AIU in rebuilding athlete and fan confidence in how we manage threats to the sport.”
This certainly needs to be done and he has a Herculean task before him in doing it. Time alone will tell how successful he is and what difference he is able to make to a sport that has suffered such a battering to its reputation in recent times; not only as a result of Russian doping scandals, but also following the allegations of corruption which seem to have characterised the IAAF Presidency of Coe’s predecessor, Lamine Diack!
Prof Dr Ian Blackshaw may be contacted by e-mail at ‘firstname.lastname@example.org’