Athlepedia, The Athletics Wiki

Template:Short description Template:Use dmy dates Template:Infobox organization

World Athletics, formerly known as the International Amateur Athletic Federation (from 1912 to 2001) and International Association of Athletics Federations (from 2001 to 2019, both abbreviated as the IAAF), is the international governing body for the sport of athletics, covering track and field, cross country running, road running, race walking, mountain running, and ultra running. Included in its charge are the standardization of rules and regulations for the sports, certification of athletic facilities, recognition and management of world records, and the organisation and sanctioning of athletics competitions, including the World Athletics Championships. The organisation's president is Sebastian Coe of the United Kingdom, who was elected in 2015 and re-elected unopposed in 2019 for a further four years.[1][2]


The organisation hosts the annual World Athletics Awards, formerly the World Athletics Gala until 2017, at the end of each year to recognise the achievements of athletes and other people involved in the sport. Members may also be inducted into the IAAF Hall of Fame as part of the ceremony. The following awards are given:[3][4] The World Athletics Heritage Plaque for (a) Legend, and (b) Culture was started in 2023.[5]

  • Male Athlete of the Year
  • Female Athlete of the Year
  • Male Rising Star Award
  • Female Rising Star Award
  • Coaching Achievement Award
  • Distinguished Career Award
  • Women's Award
  • President's Award
  • Athletics Photograph of the Year
  • World Athletics Heritage Plaque: (a) Legend, and (b) Culture

Doping controversy[]

Main article: Doping in Russia

In 2015, a whistleblower leaked World Athletics' blood test records from major competitions. The records revealed that, between 2001 and 2012, athletes with suspicious drug test results won a third of the medals in endurance events at the Olympics and World Championships—a total of 146 medals including 55 golds—but the World Athletics caught none of them.[6] After reviewing the results, Robin Parisotto, a scientist and leading "anti-doping" expert, said, "Never have I seen such an alarmingly abnormal set of blood values. So many athletes appear to have doped with impunity, and it is damning that the IAAF appears to have idly sat by and let this happen."[6] Craig Reedie, president of the World Anti-Doping Agency (WADA), said his organisation was "very disturbed by these new allegations ... which will, once again, shake the foundation of clean athletes worldwide", and that its "independent commission will investigate the claims".[6]

Around the same time, the University of Tübingen in Germany claimed that World Athletics suppressed publication of a 2011 report in which "[h]undreds of athletes", as many as a third of the world's top athletes, "admitted violating anti-doping rules".[7]

File:Vladimir Putin and Lamine Diack, 2011.jpg

Vladimir Putin and Lamine Diack

On 1 November 2015, former World Athletics president Lamine Diack was arrested in France and is under investigation on suspicion of corruption and money laundering.[8][9] Diack allegedly accepted "$1.2 million from the Russian athletics federation to cover up the positive doping tests of at least six Russian athletes in 2011."[8] The IOC provisionally suspended Diack,[10] and he resigned his position as an IOC Honorary Member.[11] In 2016, the World Anti-Doping Agency reported that with his influence,[12] Diack was able to install two of his sons and a friend into positions that exerted influence over the IAAF.[12] The report says that Lamine Diack "was responsible for organizing and enabling the conspiracy and corruption that took place in the IAAF."[12] In 2018, Diack was handed an additional charge of "breach of trust" by French prosecutors.[13] On 18 June 2020, the trial of Diack and five other people, including his son, concluded. Diack was sentenced to jail for four years, two of them suspended.[14]

In November 2015, WADA published its report, which found "systemic failures" in the World Athletics had prevented an "effective" anti-doping programme and concluded that Russia should be banned from competing in international competitions because of its athletes' test results.[15] The report continued that "the World Athletics allowed the conduct to occur and must accept its responsibility" and that "corruption was embedded" in the organization.[16]

In January 2016, as a result of the doping scandal and WADA's report, the World Athletics' biggest sponsor, Adidas, announced that it was ending its sponsorship deal with the World Athletics four years early. The BBC reported that as a result World Athletics would lose $33 million (£23 million) worth of revenue. The 11-year sponsorship deal with Adidas was due to run until 2019.[17] World-record holding sprinter Michael Johnson described the scandal as more serious than that faced by FIFA.[16] In February 2016, Nestlé announced that it was ending its World Athletics sponsorship.[18]

In June 2016, following a meeting of the IAAF's ruling council, World Athletics upheld its ban on Russia's track and field team from entering the Rio de Janeiro Olympics.[19] In February 2017, All-Russia Athletic Federation was disqualified by decision of the World Athletics Council for 8 years for the creation of a doping system.

World Athletics has since resisted demands that Russia be re-instated, on the basis that the country repeatedly failed to satisfy all the agreed criteria. The decision was supported by Sean Ingle of The Guardian who wrote in a column that World Athletics should maintain their ban on Russia through the 2016 Olympics in Rio.[20] That meant Russian athletes could compete at all major events in the following years, including the 2017 IAAF World Championships in London[21] and the 2018 European Championships in Berlin. In September 2018, World Athletics faced a legal challenge by Russia to overturn the suspension after the reinstatement of the Russian Anti-Doping Agency, but Hugo Lowell of the i newspaper reported the country's status would not change.[22] The legal case was later dropped.

Russian Suspension[]

World Athletics was the first international sporting body to suspend the Russian Athletics Federation (RusAF) from World Athletics starting in 2015, for eight years, due to doping violations, making it ineligible to host World Athletics events or send teams to international championships.[23] However, Russian athletes were eligible to compete pursuant to the Authorised Neutral Athlete (ANA) process.[23]

In 2022, though, World Athletics imposed sanctions against the Member Federations of Russia and Belarus because of the Russian invasion of Ukraine, and all athletes, support personnel, and officials from Russia and Belarus were excluded from all World Athletics Series events for the foreseeable future, and Russian athletes who had received ANA status for 2022 were excluded from World Athletics Series events for the foreseeable future.[23] World Athletics Council also applied sanctions on the Belarus Athletic Federation, including banning its hosting of any international or European athletics events, representation at Congress or in decisions which require Congressional votes, involvement of its personnel in programs, and accreditation to attend any World Athletics Series events.[24]

See also[]


  • List of doping cases in athletics
  • List of eligibility transfers in athletics
  • World Athletics Rankings


  1. "Athletics: Sebastian Coe Elected IAAF President", BBC Sport: Athletics, 19 August 2015. 
  2. Coe re-elected as IAAF President, Restrepo elected first ever female Vice President | PRESS-RELEASE | World Athletics.
  3. IAAF Athletics Awards 2018: Ready, set, go!. IAAF (1 December 2018). Retrieved 2019-10-20.
  4. Athletics world focuses on Monaco for the coming week. IAAF (17 November 2014). Retrieved 2019-10-20.
  5. World Athletics, 2 Jun 2023.[1] Retrieved 2023-06-02.
  6. 6.0 6.1 6.2 Roan, Dan. "Leaked IAAF Doping Files: WADA 'Very Alarmed' by Allegations", BBC Sport: Athletics, 2 August 2015. 
  7. "IAAF Accused of Suppressing Athletes' Doping Study", BBC Sport: Athletics, 16 August 2015. 
  8. 8.0 8.1 Former IAAF President Under Criminal Investigation for Doping Cover-Up. Sports Illustrated (4 November 2015).
  9. Athletics doping: Interpol to co-ordinate probe (9 November 2015).
  10. IOC provisionally suspends Lamine Diack. Retrieved on 10 November 2015.
  11. "Former IAAF president Lamine Diack resigns as honorary IOC member", The Guardian, 11 November 2015. Retrieved on 15 January 2016. 
  12. 12.0 12.1 12.2 THE INDEPENDENT COMMISSION REPORT #2 (page 10). World Anti-Doping Agency (14 January 2016). Archived from the original on 21 January 2016. Retrieved on 15 January 2016.
  13. "Former IAAF President Diack facing additional "breach of trust" charges in France", Inside the Games, 15 September 2018. Retrieved on 9 November 2018. 
  14. "Lamine Diack: Former IAAF head found guilty of corruption and jailed", BBC Sport, 16 September 2020. Retrieved on 16 September 2020. 
  15. Athletics Doping: WADA Report Calls for Russia Ban. BBC Sport: Athletics (9 November 2015).
  16. 16.0 16.1 "IAAF scandal worse than Fifa's, says US great Michael Johnson", BBC Sport, 10 December 2017. 
  17. Mark Daly and Dan Roan (24 January 2016). Adidas to end IAAF sponsorship deal early in wake of doping crisis. BBC Sport: Athletics.
  18. "Nestle ends IAAF sponsorship deal", BBC News, 10 February 2016. 
  19. Nesha Starcevic and Stephen Wilson (17 June 2016). IAAF upholds bans on Russian athletes for Rio Games.
  20. Ingle, Sean. "Why the IAAF must ensure Russia remains banned for Rio Olympics", The Guardian, 6 March 2016. (en-GB) 
  21. Ingle, Sean. "Sebastian Coe tells Russia: IAAF will still play hardball despite IOC decision", The Guardian, 1 March 2018. (en-GB) 
  22. Lowell, Hugo (20 September 2018). Russian athletics to remain in wilderness despite Wada ruling (en-GB).
  23. 23.0 23.1 23.2 World Athletics Council sanctions Russia and Belarus | PRESS-RELEASES | World Athletics.
  24. Sanctions applied to Belarus Federation | PRESS-RELEASES | World Athletics.

External links[]

Template:Commons category

  • Template:Official website

Template:International athletics Template:International Sports Federations Template:Authority control