Hiruni and Semenya both victims of Seb Coe’s poor decisions? | Sunday Observer

Hiruni and Semenya both victims of Seb Coe’s poor decisions?

Hiruni Wijayaratne
Hiruni Wijayaratne

Last week the Sunday Observer drew attention to Sebastian Coe, whose rise from the working class City of Sheffield to a wealthy British Baron, has been as fast as one of his medal-winning Olympic runs.

Coe is an athlete who turned politician (Conservative Party MP), but his political career ‘stopped dead in its tracks in 1997, when he was ousted at the General Election.

He now enjoys the title of (British) Baron. He also seems to have acquired the British knack of ‘ruling the waves while waiving the rules’, (although he has Indian ancestry from his mother’s side, according to (Source) - Wikipedia). Interestingly, he also appeared (as himself) in the British TV sitcom ‘The Britt as Empire”.

Currently President of the IAAF (International Athletics Federation), Coe hit the headlines when he demanded that African 800 metres champion Caster Semenya should take medication (legal drugs), to reduce her “competitive advantage”, as Coe called it. In doing so he conveniently overlooked his own “competitive advantage”, or physical freakishness. He was very light- standing 5 ft 9 inches tall with a long stride and in his heyday he only weighed 54 Kilograms!(sources -Biography online). Consequently, Semenya withdrew from this year’s IAAF Meet

One would suppose that, using Coe’s own logic, he should have been told to “go put on some weight”, before he could compete.

AFT (French) news agency has now revealed that a French court “interrogated” Coe over the decision to award the lucrative 2017 championships to London and the decision to award this year’s Championship to the City of millionaires- Doha. Coe has admitted to the French National Prosecutors Office, that he voted for Doha. He was the head of the evaluation committee for that bid. Subsequently, the Doha competition was noted for its low public attendance and searing heat.

Last week Coe appeared on TV defending the holding of the IAAF Doha Marathon in 40 degree heat (this was in spite of starting the race at midnight, to reduce the heat effect). Several athletes fainted or gave up – one of the victims being our very own – Hiruni Wijayaratne, Sri Lanka’s only runner at the Meet.

Another “eyebrow raising” decision was the awarding of the forthcoming 2021 competition to Eugene (ever heard of it?), in the USA, the home of US sports equipment maker- Nike. Coe had coincidentally served as ambassador to Nike, previously. The head of a running project, sponsored by Nike, was banned for doping on the eve of this year’s World championships.

In 2015, Coe stood down from his role as ambassador to Nike, after he was criticised for having a potential conflict of interests after Nike was criticised for being involved in endorsements for twice banned American athlete Justin Gatlin (source- Biography Online)

When such coincidental questionable decisions pile up, it becomes pertinent to ask- isn’t it time for Coe to go?