India have got some great talent: Coe

India have got some great talent: Coe

IAAF President Sebastian Coe. AFP

In an ever-changing sporting world, Lord Sebastian Coe is battling hard to steer his sport in the right direction against mounting challenges. Doping, Differences in Sexual Development (DSD) and the format of the events are just some of the issues facing athletics. Coe, in Jakarta for the Asian Games, took time off to speak to DH on these matters. Excerpts:

On development of Indian athletics: If you look at the way some of the Indian athletes are beginning to develop, there is a huge potential. You have some great talent. I think nothing is going to happen overnight. May be we should have done more after 2010, when we had the Commonwealth Games in India, when the crowd filled the stadium. I think the federation is now ambitious. But it’s not going to happen overnight.

On controlling doping: We now have the Athletics Integrity Unit which has got investigatory powers, it’s got the ability to track down athletes, it has the ability to do independent testing, and much more effectively. Now we are much more transparent, the AIU now openly puts on its websites cases that it’s looking at, you guys are not guessing things, and that’s important. 

On whether India is on doping watchlist, like Kenya or Ethiopia: No. The watchlist is about the domestic anti-doping programmes. It is not about the ability to test elite athletes. It is just to make sure that the domestic anti-doping programmes are supporting the elite programmes well. 

On whether the events under differences in sexual development will be expanded to throws: Let me be very clear. This is not about an individual country or an individual athlete. The council took a decision that we have a responsibility to maintain a level-playing field in competitions. So the events that have been chosen are the events where we can show the biggest difference in performances. We will review that and if other events seem to be affected in the same way, then we will have discussions on that. 

On broadcasters not showing events after buying rights: We need to be tough with broadcasters. When deals are stuck, we need to ensure that we include live-streaming. When you have your best athletes performing, we must make sure that the people in their countries have the opportunity to see them.


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