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The IAAF and agents.... the 1985 view

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  • The IAAF and agents.... the 1985 view

    This from the June '85 issue of T&FN, reporting on the IAAF Council's latest meeting:

    <<The IAAF has stepped up its efforts to eliminate athletes' agents from the sport. At its spring meeting in Rome the IAAF Council reaffirmed its stance against agents and has asked member federations, "to be particularly vigilant in their application of this rule."

    Said the Council, "International athletes will run the risk of losing their eligiiblity immediatedly if their competitive activities are in any way planned, negotiated or arranged by an agent acting on their behalf." The only acceptable negotiator for international competition is the athlete's federation.">>

    We're not that far from the dark ages folks, and there are federations (think Kenya) which still hew to this kind of thinking.

  • #2
    That was from 1985, but could just as well have been from 1885.

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    • #3
      Originally posted by kuha
      That was from 1985, but could just as well have been from 1885.
      Except that it's more startling to see this from 1985, as that was the first year of the Grand Prix Final and true prize money on the outdoor circuit. Did the IAAF really think that agents would not be involved once the circuit was truly professional?

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      • #4
        October '84 T&FN, announcing the GP:

        <<....The prize money would be paid into the individual's expense fund and be administered by the national federation.">>

        December:

        <<...The 16 GP meets will join with 14 fixtures to be called "IAAF International Invitation Meetings" to replace the meets of the last couple of seasons known as "Permit Meetings." It is at these 30 meets that promoters may dicker openly in paying athletes to compete, with the money going into approved trust funds.>>

        Of course, the IAAF was already trying to nail jello to the wall at this point, big-time agents like Tom Jennings of the PCC having been in full-bore operation for more than a decade. And Joe Lewis and the SMTC now being raging powerhouses. Like Carl Lewis was letting some suit from Indy dicker w/ Res Brügger over how much Weltklasse money he was getting.... righhht.

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        • #5
          However, I do know for a fact that letting federation decide and administer the prize money is not a good idea. I don t wanna go further, but just mentioning the word "corruption" should be enough
          Also in the 80 ties there were more communist countries than now, that would not give a cent to their athlete if they wished.

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          • #6
            in addition to those ruskies there musta been a dozen banana republics where athletes never saw a red cent of that trust fund money - usually went to buy a mercedes for the bwana

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            • #7
              The prize money was only part of the problem; perhaps even the lesser part. The real tyranny in those days (and as some federations still try to practice) was in the area of "travel permits," whereby your federation wouldn't sign off on your competing overseas. This was a large part of Pre's feud with the AAU. If you couldn't get to the paying meets, it didn't matter in the first place.

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              • #8
                Originally posted by gh
                October '84 T&FN, announcing the GP:

                <<....The prize money would be paid into the individual's expense fund and be administered by the national federation.">>

                December:

                <<...The 16 GP meets will join with 14 fixtures to be called "IAAF International Invitation Meetings" to replace the meets of the last couple of seasons known as "Permit Meetings." It is at these 30 meets that promoters may dicker openly in paying athletes to compete, with the money going into approved trust funds.>>

                Of course, the IAAF was already trying to nail jello to the wall at this point, big-time agents like Tom Jennings of the PCC having been in full-bore operation for more than a decade. And Joe Lewis and the SMTC now being raging powerhouses. Like Carl Lewis was letting some suit from Indy dicker w/ Res Brügger over how much Weltklasse money he was getting.... righhht.
                Joe "Douglas"

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                • #9
                  Originally posted by gh
                  The prize money was only part of the problem; perhaps even the lesser part. The real tyranny in those days (and as some federations still try to practice) was in the area of "travel permits," whereby your federation wouldn't sign off on your competing overseas. This was a large part of Pre's feud with the AAU. If you couldn't get to the paying meets, it didn't matter in the first place.
                  The last gasp of bad old "amateurism": the question of who made basic decisions about an athlete's career--the athlete or the "powers-that-be." Good riddance to all that...

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                  • #10
                    except there are still (many) federations that continue to practice it; Kenya tries hard to keep the feudal system in place, that's for sure.

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                    • #11
                      Originally posted by gh
                      except there are still (many) federations that continue to practice it; Kenya tries hard to keep the feudal system in place, that's for sure.
                      From what I've read, the Kenyan government's "feudal" system extends far beyond athletics. It can get pretty ugly there.

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