A letter signed by all eight members of the European Athletics Athletes Committee including chairperson Periklis Iakovakis has expressed their concerns about the decision to reduce the number of events on the Diamond League programme in 2020.
The Athletes Committee met in Tallinn, Estonia on 25-26 October when they discussed the proposed changes to the Diamond League format which was announced on 6 November. The letter was addressed and sent to World Athletics Athletes Commission chairperson Inaki Gomez ahead of their meeting in Monaco this week.
The letter, which also has the support of the UK Athletics Athletes Commission, begins: “The members of the European Athletics Athlete Committee were very concerned by the decision to omit the discus throw, hammer throw, triple jump, 200m, 3000m steeplechase and 5000m from the 2020 Diamond League calendar – we feel the omission of these events will have a profound short and long term effect on the European and global athletics community.
“We understand the requirement for a shortened 90-minute broadcasting window and that the choice has been driven by the perceived public popularity of the different athletics disciplines – but we feel that simply omitting these events does not create a sustainable model for promoting our sport and sets a dangerous precedent.
“Our sport is in need of modernisation to ensure we remain commercially viable and popular, but we do not believe cutting these disciplines is the answer.”Athletes Committee Letter in full
The European Athletics Athlete Committee trusts the letter will be considered carefully and looks forward to continuing to work closely with all partners for the good of the sport.