IAAF insist athletes' medical information should stay private

By sportsnewsarena correspondent
Jul 11, 2017
  • IAAF president Sebastian Coe with Athletics Kenya chairman Jack Tuwei (L) at the press conference.(Photo by Shutterspeed)

International Association of Athletics Federation (IAAF) is unhappy with the way athletes’ medical information is infiltrating into the public domain.

At a press conference at the Moi International Sports Centre, Kasarani ahead of the 10th edition of the IAAF World Athletics Under-18 Championships that kick off officially on Wednesday, Coe stressed that athletes’ medical information should remain private.

“I am unhappy with that athletes’ medical details have managed to leak into the public domain, which is unacceptable,” said Coe, who reiterated that it is not enough to conclude along a single longitudinal reading and that there is a clear roadmap before an assumption is finalised.

This comes after a cyber espionage group, Fancy Bears, believed to be from Russia leaked medical records of several high profile athletes among them Kenyans, information gained from a computer hack.

In a move to curb reoccurrence of such incidences of infiltration of athletes’ crucial information to the public, Coe says the global athletics federation remains vigilant and keen to work with world class organizations to make life safe for the competitors.

“We are not the only organization and possibly not the last one to be affected by cyber crime acts. However, as a federation, we are keen to maintain the integrity of the athletic sport,” he said.

The federation’s move to create an integrity unit, according to Coe, will help in fighting doping in the athletic sport.

“We have moved further and now have a Values Commission which comes up with education programmes to enable the young athletes to understand the importance of upholding a clean sport,” he added.

In addition, the federation seeks to further engage the youth via social media network to disseminate relevant information and reach a wider pool of youthful athletes.

Coe, who prides at Kenya’s contribution in defining not only his career race the 800m,noted it has inspired notable elite athletes from other countries.

“The move to have Kenya hosts the last edition of the IAAF World u18 Championships is significant to the country’s commitment to the athletic sport,” he said.

During the inaugural IAAF World U18 Championships held in Bydgoszcz, Kenya topped the medal standing, and repeated the same in 2009.

“As a global federation, with are not moving our backs on the youth, but doing resource moving competitions at the regional level so as to give federations an opportunity to send a much bigger team to the category,” said Coe.

Sports Cabinet Secretary Hassan Wario, legendary athletes led by Nyandika Maiyoro, Kenya’s first athletes to win a gold medal in 1954 in Vancouver, Canada, Julius Kariuki, the 3000m steeple chase gold medallist at the 1988 Seoul Olympics and Billy Konchella, the 800m runner who competed with president Coe attended the presser.