European Athletics President Svein Arne Hansen and the leaders of the other IAAF Area associations have issued a joint statement in which they pledge their full and unequivocal support for IAAF President Sebastian Coe’s efforts to reform athletics.
The statement, released after the annual meeting of the six IAAF Area associations in Cap d’Ail, France, on the border with Monaco, is the strongest indication yet of the backing for President Coe within the sport around the world.
“Seb has been dealt a difficult hand since taking over last summer,” said Hansen, who was joined at the meeting by European Athletics CEO Christian Milz, “we thought it was important to show everyone that all the Areas are fully behind him.”
“It is likely our sport will face more tough times before we reach a place we can be happy with and restore the trust we must have, but my colleagues in the meeting and I are unanimous in the belief that he is the right man to lead us through the process.”
The meeting, the first in the presidencies of both Hansen and Coe, is a regular chance for the participating leaders to coordinate the work of the associations and reflects the IAAF’s policy of decentralisation and devolution of responsibility to the Areas.
Hansen contributed a presentation in which he outlined European Athletics’ progress on implementing his 'Leading Change' agenda and reiterated European Athletics’ willingness to cooperate with the other Areas on developing the sport.
Joining Hansen and Milz were IAAF President Sebastian Coe and interim CEO / General Secretary Jean Gracia, Hamad Kalkaba Malboum (Confederation of African Athletics and IAAF Vice President), Dahlan Jumaan Al Hamad (Asian Athletics and IAAF Vice President), Geoff Gardner (Oceania Athletics) and Roberto Gesta de Melo (CONSUDATLE) plus their respective General Secretaries and CEOs.
In the absence of NACAC President Victor Lopez, NACAC was represented by its General Secretary Michael Serralta.
IAAF Senior Vice President Sergey Bubka and IAAF Treasurer Jose Maria Odriozola also took part.