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:


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.


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.


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:


Kevin Reed’s office wants USA Today to pay for coaches’ NCAA reports

6/24/2019: At least they’ve stoped claiming they are faculty:


Berkowitz, Steve
USA Today
Initial Request Date:
Awaiting Payment from Requester
Request Completion Date:
Pursuant to the applicable open-records law(s), I am requesting copies of the following:

The current contract for head football coach, including all amendments.
2. The most recent athletically related outside-income reports for the head football coach, the 10 assistant football coaches and the football team’s head strength/conditioning coach. This is a document that, pursuant to an NCAA rules change in August 2018, athletic personnel must file annually to report income of more than $600 from sources other than the university. If the university has not yet resumed collecting these documents, please state that in the response to this request. 3. An itemized list of incentive bonus amounts actually paid to the current head football coach from May 15, 2018 through May 14, 2019. The goal of this request is to obtain data about bonus payments made for sport-related goals achieved during the 2018-19 football season and/or for academic or other achievements during a full, 12-month period, even though that period may not conform with the school’s fiscal year or academic year or with the coach’s contract year. 4. The university’s contracts for non-conference football games scheduled to be played during the 2019 regular season, including any amendments.

Request ID:
Status Date:

12/8/2015: 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


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. …

More athletic corruption, big to small

The NYT has the big story, here:

FIFA Officials Arrested on Corruption Charges; Face Extradition to U.S.

An investigation yielded charges against at least 10 current and former officials. The charges include wire fraud, racketeering and money laundering that involved bids for World Cups as well as marketing and broadcast deals, according to law enforcement officials.

… Critics of FIFA point to the lack of transparency regarding executive salaries and resource allocations for an organization that, by its own admission, had revenue of $5.7 billion from 2011 to 2014. Policy decisions are also often taken without debate or explanation, and a small group of officials — known as the executive committee — operates with outsize power.

… No recent incident better encapsulated FIFA’s unusual power dynamic than the bidding for the 2018 and 2022 World Cup tournaments, which many observers found to be flawed from the start: the decision to award two tournaments at once, critics said, would invite vote-trading and other inducements.

Speaking of unusual tournament bids, the BBC had the news on how the IAAF awarded UO the 2021 World Track and field championships 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”.

And Reuters has more:

(Reuters) – European Athletics president Svein Arne Hansen is “surprised by the complete lack of process” in the IAAF’s decision to bypass the usual bidding process and award the 2021 World Championships to the United States.

The Diane Dietz story in the RG on UO’s original bid for 2019, and how UO kept it secret, is here, and here’s the video of Kate Brown and John Kitzhaber promising the IAAF $30M in state taxpayer money:

To put this in perspective, in a good year UO gets $50M in state support for academics.

And here’s the petty corruption, reported by the AP in March:

IAAF won’t confirm ethics investigation

The IAAF’s ethics commission won’t say whether it is investigating allegations that a member of the world athletics body’s top decision-making council and a candidate for vice president tried to bribe voters with Rolex watches.

Tristan Jones, secretary of the ethics commission, told The Associated Press in an email on Tuesday that he was bound by confidentiality rules and could not say if a complaint was made against United Arab Emirates federation president Ahmad Al Kamali.

“I am unable to confirm or deny whether any complaint has been made,” Jones wrote.

Spanish newspaper El Pais reported Tuesday that Al Kamali was under investigation over allegations that he offered Rolex watches to 40 officials at the recent African Athletics Association congress in Ethiopia.

When reached by phone by the AP, Al Kamali said: “I don’t want to talk anything about this, thank you,” before hanging up.

Al Kamali is a candidate for IAAF vice president in elections in Beijing in August, when the IAAF will also elect a new president. Sebastian Coe and Sergei Bubka are the two candidates to succeed Lamine Diack as president.

Diack, of course, has his own history of corruption, here, and just to complete the circle, it also involves FIFA:

The president of international athletics, Lamine Diack, and the head of African football, Issa Hayatou, have been disciplined by the International Olympic Committee over their parts in an alleged bribery scandal.

Diack, the president of the International Association of Athletics Federations, was given a warning and Hayatou, a Fifa executive committee member and president of the Confederation of African Football, was issued with a reprimand.

But wait, there’s more on another Diack investigation, in the NYT, about improprieties in world championship hosting bids, specifically the one UO lost to Qatar:

Vizer, whose SportAccord organization represents Olympic and non-Olympics federations, suggested IAAF President Lamine Diack’s family had improperly benefited from his role in sport.

“I dedicate and I sacrifice my family for sport, I mean sacrifice in the way of dedication,” Vizer said at a news conference in Sochi. “And in my eyes, (Diack is) a person who sacrifices sport for his family.”

Vizer’s comment was an apparent reference to Diack’s son, Papa Massata Diack.

The younger Diack left his role as an IAAF marketing consultant in December pending an investigation into ethics allegations. They include allegations that he requested a payment from Qatar when it was bidding to host the world championships and that he was linked to a payment reportedly made by a Russian athlete to avoid a doping ban.

What would Steve Prefontaine say about track and field championships?

9/25/2014: Another $35M to $100M for sports pork, bribes?

The jocks don’t even have the goddam common decency to give the academic side a reach-around, and pay off the Matt Court land and Jaqua tutoring first. Chris Hansen has the report in the RG on the latest duck-pork, here:
Continue reading

IAAF doc dump

12/20/2015 – to be updated.

The promise of $40M in Oregon public money to support IAAF championship:

Video of Lananna and Track Town supporters making their bid presentation for 2019 to Lamine Diack and the IAAF. Kitzhaber promising “as much as $40M dollars to support your championships”:

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Some emails regarding that promise:

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Kitzhaver guarantee to Diack201409

Knight donation to Kitzhaber

UO’s Hans Bernhard forwarding Kitzhaber’s updated letter for the 2015 bid package:

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The letter: 2.6.15_Diack

UO’s Hans Bernhard’s presentation to the UO Board of Trustees, pledging that *UO* will make getting this $40M for a track meet one of it’s highest legislative priorities for the Oregon legislative session that starts 2/1/2016. 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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UO Foundation CEO Paul Weinhold pledging his foundation will make good any shortfalls:

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Boston mayor bails on Olympic bid after reporters uncover 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.”


Some misc pdfs:

Lananna contract NCAA outside income

DOJ Track Town 990 2014

DOJ Track Town 990 2015