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Jamaica supporting Lord Coe in IAAF leadership bid

Published:Friday | February 20, 2015 | 8:58 PMAndre Lowe
President of the JAAA, Dr Warren Blake (left), president of the World Anti-Doping Agency, Sir Craig Reedie (centre) and Lord Sebastian Coe at the Norman Manley International Airport today. Both Coe and Reedie are in Jamaica to meet with local sporting officials.

KINGSTON, Jamaica:
Jamaica will be supporting Englishman Sebastian Coe in the race for track and field’s top job, with Ukrainian Sergey Bubka also in the quest for the presidency of the IAAF.

The two, now IAAF vice presidents will be looking to replace Lamine Diack, who has decided not to seek re-election after 16 years at the helm of the Monaco – based organisation.

Coe arrived in Jamaica on Friday afternoon to visit to the Jamaica Athletics Administrative Association (JAAA), to advance his plans for the sport, tour local athletics facilities and meet with other influential individuals in Jamaica’s track and field fraternity.

He is expected to leave on Sunday.

JAAA president Dr Warren Blake told The Gleaner that his organisation will support Coe’s candidacy at the IAAF’s General Council this August on the back of a manifesto that speaks to greater commercialization of the sport, more leverage to federations and greater focus on anti-doping efforts.

"The decision to support Coe was based on the fact that we support the pillars of his manifesto. As a federation, as an organisation, we need to embrace change and to lead the change through innovation like the street festival and street athletics programmes (advanced by Coe). We have to take the athletics to the people, the IAAF has to lead in this regard and Coe intends to push along,” Blake said.

"Lord Coe sees the importance of giving more power to the federations and importantly, maximising the commercial growth and the exposure of track and field," said Blake.

"We also need to build integrity and strengthen the doping programme."