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World Athletics may routinely be breaking own rules on nationality transfers

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  • World Athletics may routinely be breaking own rules on nationality transfers

    Story of San Diego State alum Allison (Reaser) Halverson and her Armenian dream takes nightmarish turn.

    World Athletics appears to be routinely breaking its own rules. And is track's world governing body anti-motherhood? Transfer of allegiance rules seem unfairly imposed. https://timesofsandiego.com/sports/2...s-as-armenian/

    K. E. N.

  • #2
    Were there different circumstances with Alex Donigian who was approved to compete for Armenia in August 2019? When did he apply for the transfer? When did he acquire Armenian citizenship? Did he demonstrate any connection to Armenia such as living there?

    Note that they backdated her 3-year wait to start in February 2020 when she acquired Armenian citizenship, not May 2020 when she filed the transfer of allegiance application. If they regularly do that for other athletes, that would explain why some have a very short wait between filing the transfer and becoming eligible to represent the other country.

    Olympian Willie Banks of Carlsbad, a member of World Athletics’ governing council, advised Halverson on how to make her pitch — based on pregnancy imperatives.
    ...

    “If I can’t compete until 2023 and compete in the 2024 Olympics, I would have my first child at 33 (best case scenario) and last one at 39,” she wrote the NRP in late February, citing risks including Down syndrome, miscarriage, gestational diabetes, high blood pressure and premature birth.
    That approach was a bad idea. Appealing to maternal wokeness sentiment wasn't going to work with an international panel. And it doesn't do anything to demonstrate stronger ties to Armenia.

    Nevertheless, she didn't have a realistic shot at making the Olympic team in the hep for any country anyway. She hasn't cracked 6000 points since her PB of 6144 in 2018, and the lowest-ranked women going to Tokyo all have 2 or more performances above 6200 during the qualifying period. Even NCAA champ Tyra Gittens didn't have a high enough ranking, for crying out loud!

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    • #3
      I don't really have much sympathy for her. Switching to a country you have no real connection to just because you were not good enough to make the team in your home country isn't within the spirit of the rules.
      Było smaszno, a jaszmije smukwijne...

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      • #4
        Originally posted by Powell View Post
        I don't really have much sympathy for her. Switching to a country you have no real connection to just because you were not good enough to make the team in your home country isn't within the spirit of the rules.
        In her case, she wasn't good enough to make the team in any country, after being so far outside the qualifying standard and the world rankings top 24. But yes, her obvious motivation for the switch was being unable to make the US team, unlike Jordan Gusman (cited in the article for switching to Malta) who was a lock to make the Australian team.

        Her idea of switching to the 400h where she has a PR of 57.8 is a good idea, with the standard being 55.4 and some women qualifying via world rankings without breaking 56.
        Last edited by 18.99s; 07-17-2021, 11:01 AM.

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        • #5
          Originally posted by Powell View Post
          I don't really have much sympathy for her. Switching to a country you have no real connection to just because you were not good enough to make the team in your home country isn't within the spirit of the rules.
          From a 2019 article linked above:

          Halverson once looked down on athletes who switched national affiliations. But with only three spots available on the U.S. Olympic team — and two of them likely going to Erica Bougard and Kendell Williams — she decided on a route via the former Soviet republic.

          So she used to look down on people like herself... until she became one.

          “If I can’t compete until 2023 and compete in the 2024 Olympics, I would have my first child at 33 (best case scenario) and last one at 39,” she wrote the NRP in late February, citing risks including Down syndrome, miscarriage, gestational diabetes, high blood pressure and premature birth.

          This week, she said: “I want to have four children, and if it’s after 2024, it puts me at risk for birth defects for my children or problems with me having babies.”


          She can either have a baby now, and try to train for 2024 after that, have fewer than four children, or have a child at 39. That may seem like a tough choice for her. But many Olympic athletes are forced to make tough choices. She will have to decide if having four children is more important for her than her Olympic dream.

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          • #6
            Originally posted by TN1965 View Post
            From a 2019 article linked above:

            Halverson once looked down on athletes who switched national affiliations. But with only three spots available on the U.S. Olympic team — and two of them likely going to Erica Bougard and Kendell Williams — she decided on a route via the former Soviet republic.

            So she used to look down on people like herself... until she became one.

            “If I can’t compete until 2023 and compete in the 2024 Olympics, I would have my first child at 33 (best case scenario) and last one at 39,” she wrote the NRP in late February, citing risks including Down syndrome, miscarriage, gestational diabetes, high blood pressure and premature birth.

            This week, she said: “I want to have four children, and if it’s after 2024, it puts me at risk for birth defects for my children or problems with me having babies.”


            She can either have a baby now, and try to train for 2024 after that, have fewer than four children, or have a child at 39. That may seem like a tough choice for her. But many Olympic athletes are forced to make tough choices. She will have to decide if having four children is more important for her than her Olympic dream.
            What an egomaniac narcissistic nutcase.... a perfect example of how screwed up the Olympics are.

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            • #7
              I think anyone who transfers allegiance like that should have to live in that country for 340 days of the year for a few years before getting approved.

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              • #8
                Originally posted by Powell View Post
                I don't really have much sympathy for her. Switching to a country you have no real connection to just because you were not good enough to make the team in your home country isn't within the spirit of the rules.
                Agree totally.

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                • #9
                  The transfer of allegiance cases I am familiar with all involve athletes who live in the country they transferred allegiance to. I think the real question on whether or not World Athletics is being inconsistent is how many athletes in a similar situation to Halverson are having their waiting period waived. The raw numbers don't tell the whole story, as the circumstances vary so widely.

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                  • #10
                    Originally posted by polevaultpower View Post
                    The transfer of allegiance cases I am familiar with all involve athletes who live in the country they transferred allegiance to. I think the real question on whether or not World Athletics is being inconsistent is how many athletes in a similar situation to Halverson are having their waiting period waived.
                    And how long they had their new citizenship before filing the transfer application also matters. She held Armenian citizenship for 3 months before applying to transfer, and they credited her with those 3 months by starting her 3-year clock back at Feb 2020 (date of her Armenian citizenship) instead of May 2020 (when she applied for the transfer).

                    If another athlete already had their other citizenship for 3+ years before applying to transfer, and they're approved to compete for the new country in 2 or 3 months, on the surface it looks like they got special treatment, even though the reality was that they simply got the same treatment she did (i.e. starting the 3 years on the date of citizenship rather than the date of filing the transfer application).

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                    • #11
                      Originally posted by TN1965 View Post
                      She can either have a baby now, and try to train for 2024 after that, have fewer than four children, or have a child at 39. That may seem like a tough choice for her. But many Olympic athletes are forced to make tough choices. She will have to decide if having four children is more important for her than her Olympic dream.
                      Her family planning just isn't any of IOC's business and it's unverifiable as well. Supposing (theoretically) she has fewer children than she now says she wants to have and she's won an Olympic medal, should they retroactively take away the medal, unless she can positively prove she tried to get pregnant and couldn't?
                      Było smaszno, a jaszmije smukwijne...

                      Comment


                      • #12
                        Originally posted by polevaultpower View Post
                        The transfer of allegiance cases I am familiar with all involve athletes who live in the country they transferred allegiance to. I think the real question on whether or not World Athletics is being inconsistent is how many athletes in a similar situation to Halverson are having their waiting period waived. The raw numbers don't tell the whole story, as the circumstances vary so widely.
                        One thing to complain about being unfair....but another to carry on with the having 4 children nonsense....probably doesn't even like children... I've known lots of International female runners, including Olympians, and I couldn't imagine any of them carrying on like Halverson. She had her chance in the US....

                        Houlihan, Richardson, and now this....

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                        • #13
                          Originally posted by 18.99s View Post

                          And how long they had their new citizenship before filing the transfer application also matters. She held Armenian citizenship for 3 months before applying to transfer, and they credited her with those 3 months by starting her 3-year clock back at Feb 2020 (date of her Armenian citizenship) instead of May 2020 (when she applied for the transfer).

                          If another athlete already had their other citizenship for 3+ years before applying to transfer, and they're approved to compete for the new country in 2 or 3 months, on the surface it looks like they got special treatment, even though the reality was that they simply got the same treatment she did (i.e. starting the 3 years on the date of citizenship rather than the date of filing the transfer application).
                          The athletes who transfer in to the US have all lived here for many years before being granted citizenship, but our citizenship is very difficult to obtain and you generally have to live here a long time first. Off the top of my head, every athlete that has applied to transfer to the US since the new system took effect has had the waiting period waived (all had not competed for their old country in at least three years).

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                          • #14
                            i believe the U.S. citizenship process is accelerated if you join the military, no?

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                            • #15
                              Originally posted by polevaultpower View Post

                              The athletes who transfer in to the US have all lived here for many years before being granted citizenship, but our citizenship is very difficult to obtain and you generally have to live here a long time first.
                              Yes, some athletes (not just the US) had already lived in the new country for 3+ years before applying to transfer; others had already held the second citizenship for 3+ years. Some like Rai Benjamin had done both, whereas Halverson has neither.

                              So unless she can point out somebody else whose transfer was approved and effective before completing 3 years of citizenship, with zero years of residence in the new country, she doesn't have any basis to complain about inconsistent treatment.

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