Track Agents Unite

By Gene Cherry
SALVO, North Carolina, Nov 9 Reuters - A newly formed group of athletes’ representatives are meeting in Miami this week to seek a larger voice in the development of athletics.
We are a part of the new track and field and it is important that we can give our point of view about its future,'' said Alain Blondel, a leading member of the Association of Athletes' Managers (AAM). More than 40 managers representing top athletes worldwide were expected to attend the three-day meeting, which begins today, the former European decathlon champion said in a telephone interview from his office in Karlsruhe, Germany. Blondel said the group was formed to defend the interests of managers and their athletes and to be a voice in the official structure deciding the future of track and field. There are a number of areas, including meeting organisers’ payments to athletes and travel funding for athletes, that are not being properly addressed,’’ said AAM member Emanuel Hudson, who represents former 100 metres world record holder and Olympic champion Maurice Greene.
AAM had evolved because of agents’ displeasure over those problems, Hudson said in a telephone interview from his Irvine, California, office.
A number of key agents got together and said, 'enough is enough,''' Hudson said. We are watching our sport diminish in value when it should be increasing in value.’’
Initial meetings were held at the sites of several major European competitions this summer, and a decision was made to hold a year-end meeting in Miami, he said.
Objectives included forming a ranking system for meetings and a strong stand against doping.
This whole idea of an agent or a coach giving their athletes (performance-enhancing drugs), we want that out of the sport,'' Hudson said . AAM will also seek improved marketing of the sport and more interaction between athletes' representatives and the world governing body, the International Association of Athletics Federations (IAAF). The IAAF years ago made agents and managers a part of the family,’’ Hudson said. That was a nice gesture, but it has no teeth. We want to have a representative at the table when they are making decisions, including rules changes.'' While that does not necessarily mean being part of the IAAF Council, just like any member of the IAAF, we want our membership more formalised,’’ Hudson said.
Already, leaders of the AAM have held separate meetings with IAAF officials and European organisers and the sessions have produced very good feedback,'' Blondel said. We feel we have a real representing partner for discussing the future of track and field.’’

Personally I think the “amateur” in the IAAF should disappear and the sport should be built on a new system of competitions. Heavy marketing should take place to improve the sport. A European tour and American tour should be set-up.
A team set-up like cycling could be the way to go?
Why is it still called IAAF, is it to do with tax purposes?

Oh boy, another organization to leech money from athletes. Wunderbar.

The word “amateur” disappeared a couple of years ago.
IAAF now stands for “International Association of Athletics Federations”

But the reason the IAAF still does not consider athletics a pro sport is that less than one per cent of participants make money out of it.

And if the IAAF wanted to run a fully pro sport, it would have to provide superannuation, holiday-loading, long-service leave, health insurance etc.

In the absence of such service provision by the IAAF or, probably, any of it’s member federations, then perhaps the new Managers’ Association will do so. (But no-one should hold their breath) :rolleyes: