Update: UO’s public records office has been sitting on the RG’s request for documents about the championship bidding process since June 15. PR log here:
4/16/2015 update: IAAF sells 2021 Track Championships to Eugene w/o public bidding
The BBC has the surprising news here:
The 2021 World Athletics Championships will be held in Eugene, Oregon, after the sport’s governing body bypassed the normal bidding process. The International Association of Athletics Federations (IAAF) said it was “a unique strategic opportunity” to hold the event in the United States for the first time. IAAF chief Lamine Diack said the decision was taken “in the interest of the global development of our sport”.
How much public money did the UO Foundation, Eugene, and the State secretly promise this time? I don’t know, but I expect there will be some reporters digging into this latest from the scandal ridden IAAF.
1/31/2015 update: UO Public Records office finally gives RG IAAF track bid documents – but what did the Presidential Archives show?
I’ll go out on a limb and guess that Dave Hubin’s office carefully scrubbed these records before deciding what to hand over to RG News Editor Christian Wihtol. Presumably the good stuff is in UO’s Presidential Archives though – or was, until Interim GC Doug Park got his hands on them:
11/25/2014: Paul Weinhold was planning to mortgage UO for Track-Town’s losing IAAF bid
This latest athletics scandal is not going to help UO hire a new President – at least not the sort we need. Diane Dietz’s blockbuster story (in the RegisterGuard tomorrow, online tonight) seems to have made UO Foundation President Paul Weinhold very nervous:
The foundation’s financial guarantee to the IAAF set no upper limit on what the foundation would have been liable for if the Eugene event had turned into a money loser. …
Weinhold said the UO Foundation faced minimal risk in agreeing to cover meet losses because TrackTown USA’s budget was thoroughly vetted and reliable [Editor: Like the Knight Arena budget?]; Kitzhaber favored the legislation that would have provided millions in state support; and the foundation had confidential side deals meant to hold the foundation harmless, Weinhold said in the interview. Weinhold declined to disclose any specifics of those side deals.
“We do not believe we had any exposure, and we had agreements in place that eliminated our exposure. That should be enough for you,” he said.
He should be nervous, given Oregon’s public meetings law, and what he says about the role of the UO Board, which is subject to that law:
Weinhold said the foundation made sure the UO leadership was informed of financial guarantees being made to the IAAF.
“There was full knowledge from the (UO) board to the (UO) president of exactly what we were doing — providing this guarantee,” Weinhold said.
Weinhold said the foundation’s plan was not presented to the Board of Trustees as a whole, but rather in conversations with individuals.
“There was a review with various people at different times — the board leadership with the president with others involved.”
The Board of Trustees didn’t object, but that did not mean that the foundation had an implied approval from the board for the venture, Weinhold said.
“I didn’t say it was implied permission. We didn’t ever talk about permission. We talked about the vision, the benefit to the University of Oregon.”
“The foundation served this same role with the World Juniors this past summer,” Weinhold told the international body, “and is serving this role with the World Indoor Championships in Portland in 2016.”
The foundation describes its public mission to the Internal Revenue Service — which grants the foundation’s nonprofit status — as “supporting the University of Oregon’s mission of education, research and entrepreneurship…”
Weinhold initially said this week that the Portland meet — not at the UO and not a UO event — was a little far afield.
“That doesn’t help the university in much of any way,” he said. Then he added, “Let me back up. It doesn’t help the university in the way that the World Juniors did, or the World Championship (would have), but it was all part of a three-part series to host the World Championships.”
The foundation believed it would have a better chance of clinching the world championships if it agreed to guarantee all three events, Weinhold said.
The foundation made sure it wouldn’t violate IRS rules by backing the track event, he said. “This was reviewed by our legal counsel and our auditors,” he said.
But after 2016, the foundation has no plans to continue to be a guarantor — “not unless there’s some benefit to the University of Oregon,” Weinhold said. …
Perhaps Eugene lost because we didn’t offer IAAF President Lamine Diack a large enough bribe? I’m guessing the Foundation will try again for 2021, with still more of our money, and even less transparency. Full disclosure: Last year the UO Foundation threatened to sue me for defamation, for posting that they were “Money laundering for the Duck Athletic Fund”. I really don’t know what to say about this latest, except to say that Milton Friedman was right about “spending other people’s money”.
UO Board Secretary Angela Wilhelm kicked Dietz and me out of the UO Board meeting about this proposal. So say what you will about the corrupt IAAF – at least they posted the video. Vin Lananna, Oregon Secretary of State Kate Brown, Paul Weinhold, and others trying to spend UO’s money. The whole sad thing is worth watching, but I’ve set this to start with Kitzhaber promising to chip in $20 from every Oregon taxpayer (yep, Beavers too), to help out UO’s very high-maintenance Uncle Phil:
8/2/2015 update: More trouble for the notoriously corrupt IAAF, which will be bringing its championship to Eugene in 2021 thanks to a promised subsidy of $30M in Oregon tax money from John Kitzhaber (after he got a $250K campaign gift from Phil Knight) and an open ended promise of UO Foundation support from Paul Weinhold. Page down for the video. The NYT has the drug story here:
KUALA LUMPUR — Endurance runners suspected of doping have been winning a third of Olympic and world championship medals, two news organizations said on Sunday, after a leak of thousands of blood test results from 2001-2012 threw global athletics into chaos.
Britain’s Sunday Times newspaper and Germany’s ARD/WDR broadcaster said they had obtained the secret data from the vaults of the global athletics governing body, the IAAF, supplied by a whistleblower disgusted by the extent of doping.
The news organizations showed the data to two experts, who concluded distance running was in the same state as cycling had been when Lance Armstrong won the seven Tour de France victories of which he has since been stripped.
“Never have I seen such an alarmingly abnormal set of blood values,” the Sunday Times quoted Australian doping expert Robin Parisotto, one of the two scientists, as saying.
“So many athletes appear to have doped with impunity, and it is damning that the IAAF appears to have sat idly by and let this happen,” said Parisotto, an inventor of the test used to detect the blood doping agent EPO. …