Erin Strout writes that she feels like an "extra in the movie 'Groundhog Day' ... The plot never changes. It’s always a great mystery why track and field isn’t more popular. But given this continuous loop, it shouldn’t be such a head scratcher."
Track and field will remain stagnant if we continue to hide in a tiny Oregon bubble where we feel comfortable, nobody asks any questions, and we can so easily delude ourselves into believing it represents a broader fan base. It doesn’t. Eugene is an anomaly, built by the Nike neighbors up the street.
Brian Yokoyama also said that neither Max Siegel nor any other top USATF officials were on the conference call informing them they had lost the Trials. Yokoyama also added, "Our stadium will be finished (by 2020). That’s a non-issue, although apparently not to USA Track.”
The city of Walnut's attorney signed a stipulation lifting a preliminary injunction that was preventing construction to move forward. Mt. SAC also secured at temporary victory when a judge denied a citizen group's bid that would have prevented the college from using tax-payer funds on the stadium.
Lananna heads several companies and nonprofits that bid on contracts and host track meets, including TrackTown USA and because of this (as well as concerns expressed by their auditing firm), the board passed a resolution requiring Lananna to recuse himself from many USATF issues. We said back when Lananna was running for president that he should "give up his current role at TrackTown USA."
Prosecutors have issued grand jury subpoenas as they investigate possible racketeering, money laundering and fraud charges related to the 2019 and 2021 World Championship bids.
*The Oregonian: TrackTown USA Stands By Bid For 2021 World Track Champs In Wake Of Federal Subpoenas TrackTown USA CEO Michael Reilly said: "Our role was to put the best bid forward. We are proud of our bid and stand by it."
*Register Guard article The US Justice Department's investigation is wide-ranging, looking into international sports corruption in FIFA, the IOC, the USOC and IAAF.
Before and after the October expose on Sigel, many have questioned the way he conducts USATF business with lavish spending and questionable self-dealing and there was hope Lananna was going to look into this. However, Lananna said, "I really don’t have enough information to really have an opinion on it ... Right now, my position [with Siegel] is I’m comfortable with what I’ve seen. If it comes to the point where I’m not comfortable, I will speak up."
As activist Becca Gillespy Peter explains, these volunteers will now "have to pay a significant amount of money to defend themselves against this lawsuit."
*Full Lawsuit Document
*MB: USATF & Max Siegel Continue Their Powergrab – This Time Against The Youth
In an open letter Wiley writes, "It is difficult for me to accept that the organization that has been so much a part of my life for the past 38 years, now resembles a third world dictatorship..."
*Youth Executive Committee Claims USATF's Suspension Was Illegal And Have Filed A Complaint With The USOC This open letter gives a rundown of the dispute (which started over hiring a timing company) from the Youth Committee's point of view.
*MB: USATF & Max Siegel Continue Their Powergrab - This Time Against The Youth
*LRC USATF Controversy Archives
The latest USATF controversy is over a dispute about the selection of the vendor to provide registration services for national youth championships.
"It makes USA Track & Field look like they will do anything to win a medal. It also makes USA Track & Field seem like they are above any rules, unless those rules work for them."
*MB: Why does USATF insist on hiring Dennis Mitchell (who is a convicted doper and on the surface not good at his job) as relays coach?
"In terms of fighting for our rights and varying levels of injustices in our sport, let’s also respect the different personalities and approaches. Aggressive and assertive approaches are sometimes necessary, but l do think it is important to resolve all matters, respectfully. We need each and every approach. Personally, I would be more critical of the athletes that aren’t advocating for their rights at all. But, I respect their position and approach also. I disagree, but I respect."
Mitchell coaches Justin Gatlin, but is being grandfathered in as Rio relay coach since he was selected before the rule was made.
Salazar: "There always are people entered who don't run. But I'm not going to worry about it. It's out of our hands. There is nothing we can do about it."
*Yet Another USATF Controversy? Might Galen Rupp Have To Qualify For World Indoors Out Of The Slow Heat At USA Indoors?
She says there "isn't really a way to report anonymously" and there are major conflicts of interest since investigations involving Board members has to go through the lawyer paid by the board.
Some key changes give USATF voting members more power so things can't happen like last year when the Board went against an 85% majority vote to put Stephanie Hightower on the IAAF council rather than Bob Hersh. Also, Nick Symmonds will be happy that requirements for when athletes have to wear Team USA gear were made more clear.
*Lauren Fleshman Proposes Resolution To Gives Athletes More Opportunity To Market Themselves With A Separate Sponsor Logo On Uniform
*Becca Gillespy Peter's Summary Of Key Changes
*Lauren Fleshman: Quick Guide To Two Key Resolutions At The USATF Annual Meeting
For example, hiring drug cheat Dennis Mitchell as a paid national team coach.
"It seems pretty clear the U.S. federation leaders had their eyes on the wrong prizes – places within IAAF governance rather than places on the awards podium."
"Call it karma: in a sport foundering under doping problems, tone deaf USATF grandees quietly made confessed doper Dennis Mitchell the U.S. relay program director this year. That one, you can blame entirely on the leadership."
Brooks marketing director Jesse Williams: "Anytime you see the logo out there it's good for the brand as a whole."
Team members Nicole Tully and Esther Erb say they wore whatever they wanted outside competition (even easy runs and track workouts) with no pushback from USATF.