‘Let’s do this’ – Asher-Smith backs new union after Diamond League event cull
Britain’s 200m world champion Dina Asher-Smith has voiced her support for a new athletes’ union after four events were cut from the Diamond League core list.
The 200m, 3000m steeplechase, triple jump and discus will no longer feature at all events in 2020, including the Diamond League Final in Zurich.
Two-time Olympic triple jump champion Christian Taylor founded The Athletics Association – a group tasked with ensuring athletes have a greater say in the sport – in the wake of the decision.
Asher-Smith responded positively to his announcement, writing on Twitter: "You know you always have my support!! Let’s do this."
WHAT DID TAYLOR SAY?
"It’s time for real change. I refuse to sit back any longer. For some time now I have been in discussion with other elite track and field athletes and we have been talking about how we can have a greater say in the future of our sport.
"We will fight for athletes’ rights and ultimately demand a seat at the table and a say in how our sport is run and how the sport can grow and evolve without ripping out its very core.
"At the moment we, the athletes, have no power. Yes there is an Athletes’ Commission but we need something independent of the IAAF/World Athletics."
SO WILL THE EVENTS DISAPPEAR ENTIRELY?
Not quite. The 200m and 3000m steeplechase will actually still feature in 10 of the 15 meetings, while two meets will include the triple jump and discus.
"Our objective is to create a faster-paced, more exciting global league that will be the showcase for our sport. A league that broadcasters want to show and fans want to watch," IAAF president and Diamond League chairman Sebastian Coe said.
"However, we understand the disappointment of those athletes in the disciplines not part of the 2020 Diamond League season."