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IAAF Moves to Stop Athletes Poaching

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Kenyan-born teenager Ruth Jebet won the first ever Bahrain's Olympic gold medal.
Kenyan-born teenager Ruth Jebet won the first ever Bahrain’s Olympic gold medal.

    By: Fred Mwambu

  • Feb 7,2017
  • 569 Viewed

The International Association of Athletics Federations (IAAF) has frozen and further proposed a move to stop the transfer of allegiance in the sport.

A lot of transfers have happened recently especially athletes from Africa moving to Europe, Asia and the Americas in exchange to monetary gains.

This trend is set to stop following a proposal by IAAF President Sebastian Coe to freeze all new transfers and a committee set up to submit new rules before the end of the year. The resolution was reached at the 208th IAAF Council Meeting held on Monday in France

“Council has today frozen all new transfers of allegiance in athletics by exercising its powers under the Constitution to revoke Competition Rules 5.2(b), 5.4(d) and 5.4(e) with immediate effect,” a statement from IAAF read.

“A working group, set up to study the subject area, will submit proposals for new rules as a matter of urgency and no later than the end of this year.”

The applications already filed will not be affected by this decision.

“It has become abundantly clear with regular multiple transfers of athletes especially from Africa that the present rules are no longer fit for purpose,” Coe noted.

Hamad Kalkaba Malboum, Africa Area Group Representative on the IAAF Council, who will drive this piece of work with the working group chaired by Mr Hiroshi Yokokawa, said, “The present situation is wrong. What we have is a wholesale market for African talent open to the highest bidder. Our present rules are being manipulated to the detriment of athletics’ credibility.

“Lots of the individual athletes concerned, many of whom are transferred at a young age, do not understand that they are forfeiting their nationality. This must end and a new way forward found which respects the athletes’ rights and the sports’ dignity.”

Under the current rules, an athlete can run for several nations

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