Coe wants Bolt to join IAAF in building positive image
IAAF President, Sebastian Coe, has underlined the importance of Usain Bolt’s continued involvement in international track and field after he retires and again pointed to Jamaican athletics as a valuable element in the efforts to build a positive global image for the sport.
Coe, who is in the middle of a campaign to reform the organisation’s governance following massive doping and corruption scandals, believes that it is extremely important that the IAAF finds a way to make the most of the Jamaican superstar’s international appeal in its drive to increase the reach of a sport that has struggled to keep pace with others where revenue and influence are concerned.
The IAAF boss spent some time with Bolt during last summer’s Olympic Games, which was the athlete’s penultimate championships with next year’s World Championships in London already declared to be his last and gave an idea of what the conversation was about.
“We had a very broad conversation, very broad discussion; I am the very last person who would want to usher Usain into retirement. He will decide at the right moment, and we are delighted he is committed to run in London; that’s a good position to be in, but when Usain does decide it’s time to go off and do other things, it’s inevitable he will have a lot of demands,” Coe told The Gleaner.
“He (Bolt) is a hugely popular global figure and all sorts of organisations, businesses and third-sector organisations are going to have his time, and I just want to make sure that someone who has delivered so supremely well for our sport carves out a little bit of time in what is going to be a busy portfolio not to be lost to athletics.”
Coe was not prepared to go into detail on what Bolt’s role within or with the IAAF would look like but stressed that there is an understanding between himself and the nine-time Olympic gold medal winner.
• Culled from trackalerts.com