Oregon legislators back off subsidizing Lord Coe’s corrupt IAAF

1/4/2016: Rumor down at the faculty club is that the legislators are backing away from the IAAF only bill, and instead preparing to load it up with pork for the rest of the state too, in hopes of buying the necessary 3/5 majority.

12/31/2015: Olympic Decathlete Ashton Eaton to lobby legislature for sports subsidies

Why doesn’t UO’s AVP for State Affairs Hans Bernard spend his time doing his job lobbying for academic support for UO, and leave the jock stuff to the well-paid Vin Lananna and his crew? Bernard is even working on bringing Olympic decathlete Ashton Eaton to the capitol for the February media event, at which UO plans to unveil its $40M ask to the state legislature. Or is it the UO Foundation that’s going to make the ask? Or Track Town? It’s all very murky – fortunately a lot of reporters are now digging into it.

Apparently the IAAF’s “Lord Coe” won’t be able to make this event – Parliament still has a few questions for him – and the French police still have Lamine Diack’s passport. Maybe Coe could send his chief of staff and PR expert Nick Davies to represent him? Oh, right, that really didn’t look good, did it. Still, it’s not like Coe himself took money from the Russians. What? You’re kidding – Nike and the Russians both financed Coe’s campaign for the IAAF presidency?

And we’re supposed to believe that this shiny expensive distraction is not going to affect the legislature’s support for UO’s academic mission? To quote former Interim President Scott Coltrane, when he was finally told what Track Town was demanding from UO’s academic side in terms of free office and meeting space, new dorm rooms, and cancelled classes, Yikes!

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Work Plan: They seem to be behind on a lot of this, but Track Town has a brown bag with Governor Kate Brown and meetings with legislators coming up Jan 13-15:

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“More than a whiff of scandal” around IAAF bid

From an editorial in the Bend Bulletin over UO’s plan to hit up the legislature for more athletic subsidies, here:

… There’s also more than a whiff of scandal around the meet. The controversy centers on the no-bid award that gave Eugene the right to host the games. It involves Nike, Sebastian Coe, Vin Lananna of the private nonprofit Track Town USA and, naturally, money and influence. The French are investigating the award and the possibility of bribery or other irregularities.

Of course, it would be lovely to have the IAAF meet in Eugene. But Oregon has real financial problems, and neither a lodging tax increase nor the world’s largest track meet will change that. Lawmakers should just not do it.

EcoNorthwest says Eugene will get $80M economic impact from IAAF

Whoops, that’s what the Russian economists said Moscow would get from the 2013 IAAF championships:

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8 billion TV viewers? World population is 7 billion.

For Eugene, EcoNorthwest’s prediction is 600% higher – for a $568M “total output contribution” and the equivalent of 2,608 full-year job equivalents. All that from a 10 day-long track meet? [See footnote.]

Let’s generously assume that 1/2 these jobs are construction jobs that really are full-time, full-year, while the rest of the jobs are full-time hotel, restaurant, etc that last for 2 weeks. That would mean the prediction is for 13*1304 = 16,952 short-term customer service type jobs (or the equivalent in overtime for current employees). This is for an event with a max of 30,000 spectators. So the estimate is that this will create more than one full-time job for every two spectators for the duration of the event. That seems high. (And perhaps 1/3 of the spectators will be Eugene residents who won’t use hotels, and who will reduce their spending on other local events, restaurants, etc. to be able to afford the tickets).

And Track Town has apparently got UO to give it the right to shut down UO summer classes for a month. That and the high housing costs will chase off a lot of students, many for the whole summer. Lots of countervailing job and income losses there, all of which are ignored in the ECONorthwest consulting report that Track Town will use to lobby the legislature, here:

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For what it’s worth I’m all in favor of bringing this IAAF championship to Eugene – but not at any price.

 

Footnote: The 2,608 job number is measured in full-year job equivalents. The IMPLAN software breaks these job estimates out by full-time and part-time, but EcoNorthwest does not report that breakout in their draft report. It probably doesn’t matter much, at least according to this reference: http://www.nrcs.usda.gov/wps/portal/nrcs/detail/national/technical/econ/data/?cid=nrcs143_009732

“The estimated change in economic activity should be assessed relative to overall economic activity. Results should be reasonable and be able to assist the audience understand the contribution of the conservation expenditures to overall economic activity. IMPLAN defines a “job year” as the amount of labor needed for one year’s work. Job estimates coming directly out of IMPLAN represent both full and part-time jobs. It is possible to convert to full time equivalent jobs using a FTE conversion table from the IMPLAN Web site; typical conversions have run between .90 and .92 FTEs for NRCS analyses.”

“Lord Coe” to visit Oregon, lobby Gov Brown and legislature for IAAF subsidies

Update: Diane Dietz reports Track Town’s Vin Lananna will ask the state to double the hotel tax, to pay the IAAF’s demands. In the RG here:

The forecast budget includes state tax dollars to pay for:

$7.2 million for prizes

$14 million to host the broadcast

$9 million for accommodations

$6 million for the festival outside the event gates

$4 million to add seating to Hayward Field

$5 million for security

The 2016 Oregon Legislature would have to approve the expenditure, and the governor would have to sign off, too.

UO pays Lananna $450K, Track Town pays him another $335K, and he gets another $30K or so direct from Nike, or so he told the NCAA. Actually he got a little confused about the difference between an amount and a percentage – but whatever, Rob Mullens signed off on it anyway:

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Fortunately UO’s got a strong Code of Ethics, which covers Lananna’s behavior.

12/29/2015: Or that was the plan in November:

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But given Seb Coe’s current problems,

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I’ll go out on limb and predict he’s not going to show for this January 13th meeting in Salem:

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NY Times calls for rebid on Lananna’s deal with IAAF for Eugene 2021

A long opinion piece, here:

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Reopening the bidding process would also allow further public scrutiny of Nike and its role in Eugene’s candidacy: welcome in light of the new I.A.A.F. president Sebastian Coe’s longstanding commercial ties to the company that he only recently severed; welcome, too, in light of Lananna’s connections even if Lananna says that Nike, based in nearby Beaverton, played no formal role in the bid.

Eriksson wants a full accounting of 2021, preferably from the French police. No evidence has surfaced publicly that Diack’s interest in and connection to Eugene was corrupt. But the process, even if it proves free of corruption, was flawed, and with Coe and the I.A.A.F. scrambling to institute internal reforms and external oversight, allowing a process like Eugene 2021 to stand seems badly out of tune with the times. Why clean house and skip a room?

It’s hard to see how a do-over can be avoided, if Seb Coe is going to keep claiming he’s trying to clean up the IAAF. And his future hangs on that claim.

Meanwhile Lananna still has not shown UO President Mike Schill what UO will be required to do and pay for, in exchange for the privilege of hosting these games.

A rebid means a public debate about what the games are really worth to the state, the university, Nike, and boosters like Lananna – and who should pay to get those benefits. The UO Board of Trustees, the UO Foundation, the UO Public Records Office, and former Oregon Gov. John Kitzhaber have done everything they could to avoid having those questions addressed in public.

Register Guard reporter Diane Dietz has done everything she could to bring the hidden deals out into the open. My money is on Dietz and a rebid.

Yikes: Lananna still hasn’t shown Johnson Hall Track Town’s IAAF bid

That’s the word from UO’s Public Records Officer. She then graciously offers to get a copy from Track Town:

12/22/2015

Dear Mr. Harbaugh,

The University does not possess the bid book you requested, as TrackTown provided the bid book directly to the Register Guard. It is our understanding that Mr. Lananna did not prepare the bid book, and to the extent that he ever used that document it was in his capacity as a TrackTown employee (Mr. Lananna is employed by the University at a .69 FTE , and the remainder of his time is spent as a TrackTown employee.)  It is for this reason that UO never possessed a copy of the bid book.  The University has provided you with all the records Vin Lananna possessed in his UO e-mail and files that is in any way relate to the 2019 IAAF Championships.

That said, the office can contact TrackTown for a copy of the bid book, which we can then provide to you.   

Sincerely,

Lisa Thornton
Public Records Office
6207 University of Oregon

Now that’s a new level of transparency for UO. In my reply I thank her and suggest she might also want to send a copy to the Provost and President. Apparently Coltrane found out about the bid from a rumor down at the faculty club:

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Yikes:

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And give the jocks free labor while you keep those pesky seminars and academic classes off campus:

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12/21/2015: Below are some of the IAAF’s costs and perks for their entourage, which UO Director of State Relations Hans Bernard is going to ask the legislature to pay for in February. About $40M worth. Or will the UO Foundation pay? The claim is that this will not be a trade-off for money to support UO’s academic side. Sure it won’t:

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Here’s UO Foundation CEO Paul Weinhold pledging the Foundation will make good any shortfalls:

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Here’s Boston mayor bailing on Boston’s Olympic bid after reporters uncovered similar shenanigans:

“This is a commitment I cannot make without assurances that Boston and its residents will be protected,” Walsh said. “I refuse to mortgage the future of the city away. I refuse to put Boston on the hook for overruns. And I refuse to commit to signing a guarantee that uses taxpayer dollars to pay for the Olympics.”

http://www.usatoday.com/story/…

From the IAAF website, here. http://www.iaaf.org/eventbidding/iaaf-events/iaaf-world-championships:

The following are the main financial obligations of the organising committee:

The Local Organising Committee (LOC) is responsible for overall management of the event budget.

• Pay prize money for the IAAF World Championships (total amount USD 7.194 million);

• Pay travel and full-board accommodation costs for the quota athletes (approximately 2,000) for a maximum of 13 nights in a 4* hotel;

• Charge not more than USD 100, per person per night, for full-board accommodation in twin rooms for additional athletes and team officials for a maximum of 13 nights;

• Pay travel and full-board accommodation costs for the IAAF Competition Delegates (approximately 55 people) and in addition travel and full-board accommodation costs of the required site visits;

• Pay travel and full-board accommodation costs for one Congress Delegate per member federation for a maximum of 15 nights (approximately 212 people);

• Charge not more than USD 100 for bed & breakfast accommodation in single rooms for members of the IAAF Family accommodated in a 4* or 5* hotel;

• Pay any related cost for national competition officials;

• Pay full-board accommodation costs for the staff of the technology partner providing timing / chip timing services, a minimum of 58 people for a minimum of 18 nights and for 2 site visits by 2 people;

• Pay full-board accommodation costs for the staff of the technology partner providing results and information services, a minimum of 37 people for a minimum of 22 nights and 2 site visits by 2 people;

• Provide free of charge networking and internet connection following specifications of IAAF and its technology partners;

• Pay at least 50% of the costs of these services provided by a company appointed by IAAF (in the event the IAAF does not have a technology partner for the timing and/or results services);

• Pay for the provision of up to 800 Commentator Information System (CIS) terminals;

• Pay accommodation costs for the competition staff of Mondo, a minimum of 4 people for 15 nights;

• Provide free-of-charge the IAAF and Dentsu with equipped offices, including fast and secure internet connection in their respective hotels and in the stadium;

• Pay the costs of a first-class event presentation including the services of the IAAF event presentation team;

• Provide free-of-charge the IAAF and Dentsu with an agreed number of VVIP and VIP tickets in the main tribune, adequate hospitality for such ticket holders and an agreed number of parking passes;

• Pay USD 50,000 towards the development costs of the accreditation system and the full-board accommodation costs for the accreditation company team (approximately 10 people for approximately of 28 nights) as well as a contribution towards the cards (i.e., USD 2.50 per card issued). Cover any expenses for the shipped accreditation equipment to clear customs and contribute to a maximum of USD 1500. Cover 50% of the travel expenses of the accreditation company staff if the event is taking place outside of Europe. In addition, pay travel and full-board accommodation costs of the required site visits. Special requests from the LOC to the accreditation company will also be at the LOC’s expense;

• Pay the organisational costs of the IAAF Congress, including the provision of:

◦ the congress centre;

◦ the technical equipment (including facilities for simultaneous translation in six languages TV production, secure networking for offices and the voting system);

◦ the office equipment;

◦ the opening ceremony and official dinner;

• Pay the organisation costs for 2 Council Meetings during the time of the championships and one before – including the provision of:

◦ the council meeting room(s);

◦ the technical equipment (including facilities for simultaneous translation in three languages, networking);

◦ the office equipment;

◦ the official dinner;

• Pay the costs of the advertising boards, advertising material and related services for the national sponsors and 50% of the cost of the gantries for the non-stadia events;

• Pay for the painting of a blue line on the course of the non-stadia events, showing the shortest possible route;

• Pay the creation and registration of trademarks or brands as requested by the IAAF / Dentsu;

• Provide a free, live TV broadcast signal (as per specifications defined by IAAF) via a host broadcaster (non-rights holder in home country) to be proposed by the LOC;

• Provide free of charge working facilities including internet connection for TV commentators and media;

• Pay any tax that the host country’s government may levy on any prize money earned by the athletes;

• Pay any and all taxes in connection with the importation, exportation, transportation, installation and customs clearance of any VIK, premiums and promotional gift items of the commercial affiliates;

• Pay the costs for doping control organisation and implementation, including blood testing pre-competition (number of samples as requested by the IAAF) and approximately 500 competition urine tests and 150 EPO or other additional special analyses (e.g., IRMS) as requested by IAAF;

• Provide appropriate medical organisation (health care and sports medicine services), as per IAAF competition medical guidelines accessible on IAAF website;

• Pay for insurance policies as required by the IAAF, inclusive of operational activities of Dentsu and IAAF commercial partners;

• Pay for the production of the bibs in case the LOC is granted the rights to commercialise the bibs.

Bidding summary

Frequency Duration Athletes/ officials Bidding Timelines Candidatures
Open Deadline Decision
Every odd year 9 days 3200 5 years prior 4.5 years prior 4.5 years prior

This information is intended to provide future organisers with general guidelines on the main requirements for the organisation of the event and is subject to change.

IAAF’s Seb Coe throws new chief of staff Nick Davies under the bus

12/22/2015 update: I guess this means the defamation lawsuit is off:

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12/21/2015: Gormless “Lord Coe” threatens reporter with defamation lawsuit

No, it’s not about Diane Dietz:

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This is apparently not Bird and Bird’s first attempt to shut up Seppelt – the last try was a miserable failure too. No telling why Coe didn’t hire noted defamation lawyer William F. Gary:

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This case is starting to get interesting. The BBC has the scoop on what Coe is trying to hide, here:

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Diane Dietz’s RG reports blow the Track Town / IAAF scandal wide open

Online at the Register Guard tonight, and in print tomorrow. There’s no way to adequately summarize this, read it all here. Vin Lananna’s take is  ~$800K a year, from 2012 to at least 2021. Lananna also owns a private media company that will be in on the championships. And while Lananna is making bank on this deal, he wants UO to give the IAAF everything at no charge – and cancel classes:

TrackTown USA is asking the UO to cancel all other activities during the championships — including orientations, seminars, camps or classes.

… “Participating teams will be lodged in University of Oregon housing, all of which will be brand new or renovated prior to” the event, according to the bid book. The UO has said it is borrowing money to finance the construction.

TrackTown USA also has plans to use the Knight Law building, the Jordan Schnitzer Museum of Art and the Matthew Knight Arena — all, Lananna asks, at minimal charge.

Hayward Field would be upgraded with triple the seating, including a new main grandstand featuring 300 linear feet of flexible suite space for corporate hospitality and event operations, according to the bid. The work will be privately funded, according to the UO. [I thought Hans Bernard was asking the state to pay for this.]

TrackTown USA is asking for the use of various physical spaces at no charge, including classrooms, meeting rooms, lecture halls, lounges, outdoor spaces and the university’s 6,100 parking spaces, according to UO documents.

TrackTown USA will require help from UO employees in catering, housing, IT and network services, the UO Police Department, Enterprise Risk Services, plus employees from academic departments, including athletics, architecture, business, international affairs, journalism, human physiology and the Global Studies Institute.

Any regular University of Oregon staff time spent working on the event would not be charged to Track Town USA,” according to UO documents.

Dietz has everything, except maybe a quote from Vladimir Putin. If she doesn’t get a Pulitzer there is no justice. But she’s got more. Way more:

http://registerguard.com/rg/news/local/33843964-75/email-released-by-university-of-oregon-sparked-french-probe.html.csp

An email released by the University of Oregon in October caused French prosecutors to open an investigation into how TrackTown USA won the bid to host the 2021 World Outdoor Track & Field Championships in Eugene.

The email showed a connection between Nike executive Craig Masback and International ­Association of Athletics Federations President Sebastian Coe, who also was on the Nike payroll at the time.

http://registerguard.com/rg/news/local/33804692-75/lananna-ties-to-nike-phil-knight-have-grown-ever-tighter.html.csp

2007: Craig Masback, CEO of the nonprofit USA Track & Field, announces Eugene will get the 2012 U.S. Olympic Track & Field Trials, of which Nike is the sponsor. One month later, Masback quits the national track group to take an executive position at Nike.

http://registerguard.com/rg/news/local/33736651-75/lananna-draws-paychecks-from-multiple-public-and-private-sources.html.csp

Who pays Vin Lananna?

The University of Oregon? TrackTown USA? Phil Knight? Nike Inc.?

The answer appears to be: All of the above.

Since Lananna is a two-thirds-time public employee who also works fulltime as president of a non-profit corporation, the public can know a lot about how much he is paid each year for these two jobs: $769,105.

That’s $434,105 from the UO and $335,000 from TrackTown USA, according to the latest figures.

He also gets $30,000 a year straight from Beaverton-based Nike for “endorsement or consultation” work, according to a disclosure form he filed with the UO.

And, of course, free parking at the Jock Box.

IAAF money man Paul Weinhold not part of Lananna’s team for RG meeting

That’s the word from the RG’s Austin Meek, here:

Lananna and his team — TrackTown treasurer Michael Reilly, UO general counsel Kevin Reed and athletic director Rob Mullens — took a step in that direction by meeting face-to-face with a group of reporters and editors at The Register-Guard last week. The meeting was cordial and professional, but no one was holding hands.

Well, they’re going to need a scapegoat. Apparently the RG will have more news soon.

Here’s Weinhold telling IAAF President Lamine Diack that if they give Lananna’s Track Town group the championships, the UO Foundation will make good any losses:

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IAAF’s Lamine Diack admits he asked for €1.5M bribe

The Manchester Guardian has the news here:

The former IAAF president Lamine Diack has admitted to police that he asked Russia for €1.5m to run a political campaign in his native Senegal, according to the French newspaper Le Monde.

France’s national office for financial prosecutions is investigating Diack, who stepped down as IAAF president in August when he was succeeded by Sebastian Coe.

Police say he is suspected of taking the money to cover up positive drugs tests by Russian athletes.

Le Monde says it has obtained transcripts of Diack’s interviews with police in which he admits to having spoken with the former Russian athletics federation president and IAAF treasurer Valentin Balakhnichev about needing money. Diack wanted to finance opposition against Senegal’s then-president Abdoulaye Wade.

Diack and friends, in happier times:

http://www.theguardian.com/sport/2015/dec/18/former-iaaf-president-russia-political-campaign-lamine-diack

Paul Weinhold’s UO Foundation murky about money for Track Town / IAAF bid

12/13/2015 update: Jeff Manning’s new report in the Oregonian, here, lays out what is known so far, and quotes the French Ministry of Justice:

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“The object is to determine the conditions under which the hosting decision was taken,” said France’s Ministry of Justice said in a statement, “and whether corruption offenses, money laundering or a conspiracy to benefit from criminal association have been committed in France.”

If the Foundation threatens to sue the French for defamation over that “money laundering” phrase, as they once did to me, I can recommend several excellent lawyers who are not impressed by the blustery language of the Foundation’s attorney, Thomas Herrmann of  Gleaves Swearingen:

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That said there is no mention in the story indicating that the French are specifically investigating the secretive UO Foundation, although Manning shows they have been heavily involved in the bidding and the efforts to secure $30M-$40M in state money:

The University of Oregon Foundation is also throwing all its weight behind the championships. “On behalf of the University of Oregon Foundation, please accept this letter as our written guarantee that the UO Foundation will cover any potential shortfall of the future organizing committee budget of the IAAF World Championships in Eugene in 2021,” wrote Paul Weinhold, the foundation’s chief executive, in a letter to the track and field federation.

Weinhold insists the guarantee poses no risk for the non-profit.

The foundation is also playing a key role in a massive renovation of Hayward Field in time for the championships. The current plan calls for the foundation to manage a privately funded rebuild that will triple seating capacity to 30,000.

(Also see video below).

FWIW, the Oregonian comments are running heavily against state subsidies.

The UO Foundation’s 990 report for the FY ending June 30 2015 was due at the IRS on November 15th. These reports give some basic financial information. However, the Foundation typically runs out the 2 allowable 3 month extensions until the last possible day, meaning we won’t know have even this basic financial data until June 15th, nearly a year after the FY closes.

Oregonian sports reporter Ken Goe has more with Lananna, here:

At a meeting in February of 2015 in Monaco, Lananna and Fasulo said they told Diack they didn’t know if they could keep their coalition of public and private partners together if they had to draw up a new bid for 2021 and go through another formal process

They said Diack listened politely but made no commitment.

“He said he would reflect upon it,” Lananna said.

Lananna said they didn’t offer Diack anything that even could be interpreted as a bribe. Nor, he said, did Diack request anything.

“Absolutely not,” Lananna said. “Nothing, in any way, shape or form. Nothing was asked, implied or suggested. We did not. He did not. No.”

Not even a Rolex?

So now our university’s foundation is subsidizing a track meet and sinking money into yet another sports project, right in the middle of what is supposedly a $2B academic fundraising campaign. No surprises as to what our VP for Development is now spending his time on:

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And it looks like UO’s Director of State Affairs Hans Bernard is going to be spending his time this session lobbying the legislature for money for sports, rather than for academics:

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And who is paying Vin Lananna to organize all this? UO’s Public Records Office really doesn’t want to answer these kinds of questions, which are now coming in from the BBC among others:

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Meanwhile the RG, London Times, BBC, WSJ and the Oregonian are asking Gov. Kate Brown’s office for more, public records, including emails going back to Kitzhaber. Maybe Cylvia Hayes got a contract for making the IAAF sustainably carbon neutral?

12/10/2015: Update: UO public records office hid Lananna / Nike emails until RG petitioned DA

That’s the report from Diane Dietz in the Register Guard, here:

French prosecutors on Thursday confirmed they have opened an investigation into the decision to award the 2021 track world championships to Eugene without an open bidding process.

The financial prosecutors’ office in Paris said it aims to determine whether corruption, money laundering or other crimes may have been committed in the International Association of Athletics Federations’ decision and, if so, whether prosecuting them might fall within French jurisdiction.

The Eugene bid effort was led by Track Town USA, a Eugene nonprofit headed by Vin Lananna, who is also a top executive at the University of Oregon Athletic Department.

…  The January 2015 email, sent three months before the surprise IAAF vote to award the 2021 championships to Eugene, was from a Nike executive to Lananna on the subject of Lananna’s pitch for the 2021 championships. The Nike official said that the incoming chairman of the IAAF, Sebastian Coe, was in favor of the Eugene bid. In addition to his IAAF role, Coe was working for Nike at the time, and Nike Chairman Phil Knight favors Eugene for the IAAF meet.

The university released the document in October only after the newspaper filed an appeal the Lane County District Attorney’s Office.

Update: Ken Goe in the Oregonian:

“We presented the bid with complete transparency in 2019,” Lananna said. “The only thing different about the ’19 budget and the ’21 budget is that we crossed out the number on the top of the budget, and it went from ’19 to ’21.”

Complete transparency. Really? UO’s public records office still won’t release the bid information, or the NCAA report on who pays Lananna.

Update: French prosecutors probe Lananna  / Diack deal for Eugene’s 2021 IAAF championships

The RG has a story with the latest quotes from Lananna, here:

“We stand by our bid, we stand by the integrity of the bid and we are 100 percent confident that there has been nothing outside of what are the norms of the presentation of an IAAF bid,” Lananna said Wednesday during a news conference attended by Portland mayor Charlie Hales at the Oregon Convention Center, which will host the World Indoor meet March 17-20.

Given that past IAAF president Lamine Diack has been arrested over allegations that he took a $1M Russian bribe to cover up doping, among many other IAAF scandals, this doesn’t seem like a good time to be talking about IAAF norms. It also conflicts with the message new IAAF president Seb Coe must get out regarding his reform efforts, if he wants to keep his job. And Coe has already said that Diack’s decision was flawed:

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This video of Track Town CEO Mike Reilly promising Diack that Eugene will accommodate the “IAAF Family” in the kinds of luxurious hotels to which they have become accustomed is not going to help:

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I wonder who will pay for that? Oregon taxpayers, if UO’s Hans Bernard gets his way.

12/9/2015: The BBC’s Mark Daly has the latest, here:

The decision by the scandal-hit IAAF to award the 2021 World Athletics Championships to the American city of Eugene is being investigated by French prosecutors, the BBC has learned.

… Other emails seen by the BBC reveal that Lananna made at least one trip to Europe to visit Diack a few weeks after this email was written.

BBC sources have confirmed French investigators want to know more about how Diack arrived at the decision to give Eugene the event.

French police, instructed by lead financial prosecutor Elaine Houlette, have already arrested and questioned Lamine Diack, his legal adviser Habib Cisse and Gabriel Dolle, the former long-standing head of the IAAF’s anti-doping unit. …

Meanwhile UO’s State Affairs Director Hans Bernard plans to hit up the state legislature for ~$30M to renovate Hayward Field and subsidize the IAAF championships, while claiming this would not be a trade off for academically focused funding. Sure it wouldn’t:

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Other posts here. The RG’s Diane Dietz had an excellent series of reports on this last fall:

Bid for world track meet lined with cash:

By Diane Dietz
The Register-Guard
APPEARED IN PRINT: WEDNESDAY, NOV. 26, 2014, PAGE A1

When the world track governing body last week turned down Eugene’s bid to host the world championships in 2019, it wasn’t for lack of multimillion-dollar promises made by officials from Oregon, the University of Oregon and the University of Oregon Foundation, newly available bid information shows.

Paul Weinhold, CEO of the UO Foundation, appeared before the international body as a man with wherewithal who “manages $1 billion worth of assets.”

Weinhold unequivocally pledged that the UO Foundation — keeper of the university’s donated scholarship, research and athletics funds — would provide financial guarantees against loss if Eugene-based TrackTown USA won the bid to bring the two-week athletics event to Eugene and the UO campus.

Weinhold also appeared to obligate university dollars.

“To be clear,” Weinhold told the 27 members of the international body, “the University of Oregon and the foundation are unified in our financial commitment to a successful World Championship in 2019.”

Meanwhile, Gov. John Kitzhaber, in a video played at the governing body’s meeting in Monaco, promised to ask the state Legislature to pony up $40 million to help fund the event. …

And UO board bars the public from ‘training’ event:

By Diane Dietz
The Register-Guard
APPEARED IN PRINT: SUNDAY, SEPT. 14, 2014, PAGE B3

The University of Oregon Board of Trustees excluded a newspaper reporter and a blogger from its Saturday morning meeting at the Hilton Eugene.

Board Secretary Angela Wilhelms said the board had convened for a “training” about the operations of TrackTown USA and the public — and its media representatives — were excluded.

Trustees need to understand the nonprofit TrackTown’s operations because, even though it’s not an official part of the university, TrackTown stages events at Hayward Field, Wilhelms said.

“It’s important to understand the interplay between the two,” she said.

Saturday marked a third day of meetings for the new UO board, which took charge of the university in July.

Board members and university administrators — many in yellow and green regalia — attended the 8:30 a.m. breakfast meeting it the Hilton Eugene’s 12th-floor Vista room, which has floor-to-ceiling windows and spectacular views of the city.

The plan was to finish the board’s business in time for kickoff at Autzen Stadium. A quorum of the board planned to attend the game. The agenda emphasized the gathering was a “social event only,” according to the board’s agenda.

The nature of the Saturday morning meeting evolved daily through the board’s fall session. On Wednesday, the agenda posted on the trustees’ website said this: “Public Meeting, Eugene Hilton, Vista Room.”

On Thursday, the first day of the board’s fall meeting, Chairman Chuck Lillis began describing the Saturday meeting — and was interrupted by Wilhelms.

“There’s nothing like having a coach,” Lillis said, before continuing.

“We’re going to hear a discussion. It will be in a nonpublic environment about the possibility of the state of Oregon hosting, centered in Eugene, the world championships of track and field.” …

UO’s Public Records Office has repeatedly stalled the release of public records related to this bid.

UO claims Vin Lananna is faculty, won’t release NCAA income report

When I asked the UCLA Public Records office for the NCAA required “Outside Income Report” for their Athletic Director and Track Coach, they sent the documents less than 24 hours later, at no charge. No redactions except the phone number. Full pdf here:

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When you make a similar request to the University of Oregon Public Records Office, you will likely have to wait months (more than 3 months for the original request, my mirror took less) and then you will get a letter saying that they will not release these NCAA reports because they are “faculty records”, and therefore fall under an exemption meant to protect academic freedom.

That’s right, UO thinks its coaches and athletic directors are faculty:

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I wonder what they are hiding this time.

Lord Coe quits Nike, French cops investigating Track Town bid

11/26/2015: 

The BBC has the latest from the IAAF headquarters – in Monaco, of course. Apparently the IAAF will replace his Nike money by paying Coe a salary, in an effort to reduce the IAAF’s longstanding system of bribes, kickbacks, and side deals:

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The British press is now asking why public money was spent on lobbying the IAAF members to elect Coe. And British MP Damian Colin’s parliamentary hearings will be on Dec 2. Report here:

Continue reading

Former Interpol Chief calls Eugene’s 2021 IAAF win “highly unethical”

11/9/2015: That’s the report in the Daily Mail, here:

The Swedish athletics officials so incensed by the decision to award the 2021 World Athletics Championships to Eugene in Oregon have vowed to ‘go back to the process’ if allegations of bribery are proven against former president Lamine Diack and other officials at the governing body.

Bjorn Eriksson was the head of the Swedish athletics federation when the International Association of Athletics Federations (IAAF) awarded their showcase event to the American city earlier this year without allowing Gothenburg to even participate in a bidding process.

At the time Eriksson, Sweden’s former chief police commissioner who went on to serve as the president of Interpol, called it ‘a violation of fair play’.

… ‘I’m not surprised by what I’ve read,’ said Eriksson. ‘But I’m angry. And it adds to my lack of confidence in the former leadership.

‘If it turns out there is something in this, I’ll go back to the process (of how Eugene won the championships). They gave us no chance. In the best of worlds it was highly unethical. At worst we have to wonder if there was some kind of bribes involved.’

Eriksson takes encouragement from the fact the WADA commission passed the evidence it uncovered as part of an investigation into allegations of systematic doping in Russia to Interpol.

… There is no evidence of bribes being paid by the Americans.

The bid by Tracktown USA’s Vin Lananna and the UO Foundation’s Paul Weinhold for the 2019 championships came with an extraordinary promise from Governor Kitzhaber and Kate Brown (Sec of State at the time, now Gov) of $30M in Oregon taxpayer’s money. Weinhold promised that the UO Foundation’s assets would guarantee the championships “against any budgetary shortfall”.

It’s not clear if Brown and Weinhold realized that their presentation to Diack and the IAAF would become public. Video here:

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The IAAF rejected Lananna’s bid for 2019, but after secret meetings with Lananna, Diack brought it back to the IAAF and then announced that they were giving the 2021 championship to Eugene without any public process.

11/6/2015: French cops bust Track and Field’s Lamine Diack for $1M Russian drug bribe

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The Manchester Guardian has the story here:

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Athletics is facing the biggest scandal in its history after a former IAAF president and other senior officials were placed under investigation by French police following allegations Russian athletes were protected after failing drugs tests.

Those under scrutiny include Lamine Diack, the president of the International Association of Athletics Federations for 16 years until the Senegalese stepped down in August, who is being investigated for corruption and aggravated money laundering – and is suspected of taking around €1m from the Russian athletics federation to cover up positive doping tests. …

IAAF sells 2021 Track Championships to Eugene w/o public bidding

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:

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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:

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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.”

And then:

“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. …