Earlier today, USATF announced that it would be Los Angeles, not Eugene, that would host the 2020 U.S. Olympic Track & Field trials. Now, there’s more bad news.
According to a report from the BBC, the FBI is investigating Eugene’s award of the 2021 IAAF track & field world championships.
Eugene was awarded the meet back in 2015, but not without controversy, as parts of the bidding process were skipped over by the IAAF. Former IAAF president Lamine Diack was the one responsible for the decision to award Eugene the meet. He’s now under house arrest for corruption allegations.
In 2015, the BBC also reported that IAAF president Lord Coe, then the vice president, reached out to Diack during the process to support Eugene for the bid. At that time, Coe was paid £100,000 (a little less than $130,000) per year as an ambassador for Nike. Of course, Nike has strong ties to Eugene and the University of Oregon, so you can easily see where corruption allegations would stem from.
Coe told BBC that he didn't lobby anyone, but merely encouraged Eugene to submit another bid because their 2019 bid that eventually lost out to Doha was still a strong one.
Now, the FBI is investigating if there was any wrongdoing committed within the US. If you remember, the FBI recently investigated FIFA and helped uncover a whole boatload of corruption.
Would I be surprised if there was corruption in this bid? Absolutely not. I merely assume all bidding and business is corrupt. But it sure as hell would be disappointing.