USATF called out wrote:
USATF has a records committee. What do they do? Sit around a table and deny AR records because a drug testing rule isn't followed? Why can't USATF have an athletes advocacy committee. They could sit around a table and discuss things like Diamond League events that have AR potential athletes competing at the meet. And then....perhaps they could contact the athlete with a heads up regarding the AR ratification process. Or they could advise all AR potential athletes prior to the big meets in Europe about the AR ratification process by ......... I don't know? ......maybe an email. Anyway it doesn't happen because the athletes aren't respected or cared for.
Yes, that is exactly what the records committee does. They sit around a table at the Annual Meeting and examine whether or not the records submitted met the criteria for that record. Their job is to determine, impartially, whether or not the criteria were met. And in this case, they were not. That's all their is to it. Would we really want them bending the rules for some athletes and not others? Would it be OK to let Emma skip the drug test but not Gatlin? Would it be OK if Nike athletes got to bend the rules but not Brooks athletes?
Agree or disagree with the existence of the rule, the records committee did their job by enforcing it fairly and consistently. The idea that they should have done otherwise is ridiculous.
USATF does have an Athletes Advisory Council and they have at least 20% representation on ALL USATF committees including the records committee. I don't know how many athletes were actually in the room when Emma's record was being discussed, but they are supposed to be.
Athletes get emails all the time from various groups within USATF... High Performance, AAC, their Event Leaders, their Development Chairs, etc. What I hear consistently from all of these groups is that many athletes do not read these emails, do not reply, don't reply to texts, etc.
A LOT of information is thrown at athletes throughout the year. But it is ultimately not USATF's responsibility to remind every athlete of every possible situation that might come up. That's why we have a rule book and a governance manual and an anti-doping website and a high performance website, etc.
I know that we'll never reach a consensus about how much money you need to make to be a professional track and field athlete. But being a professional athlete is not just about how much money you make. It is also about treating the sport like a job.
In the real world, when you get a job, you often get some kind of employee handbook on your first day, and they tell you to read it. HR might send out reminder emails on certain things from time to time, but ultimately you are responsible for the content of that handbook. If you fail to do something spelled out in that handbook, there could be consequences, like not getting a bonus you probably should have or getting reprimanded or even fired. You don't get to complain that HR should have told you or reminded you or called you in the middle of your business trip or whatever.
This isn't any different. Most track athletes pay someone else to deal with this stuff and Emma chose not to, which means it is her responsibility to read all of the documentation she is sent. If our athletes want to be treated like adults they need to act like adults. I am not accusing Emma of not acting like an adult, just saying that all of you who think USATF is awful and should have held her hand are not understanding what it means to be a professional athlete. It means treating the sport like your job, not a hobby, and taking care of business both on and off the track.