Budapest to host IAAF Worlds in 2023 as Russia still banned
Athletics - 04 Dec 2018
Budapest in Hungary has, as expected, been selected to host the IAAF World Athletics Championships in 2023, after it was named in July as the preferred European city to host the event.
Barcelona had also expressed interest.
The decision follows an announcement by the Hungarian government in October that it would provide all necessary financial guarantees to support the bid.
The guarantees were presented to the IAAF, the sport's governing body, ahead of today’s host city announcement.
Since being named as the preferred European city to host the event, Budapest has been the subject of a full technical, financial and risk evaluation.
The budget for the IAAF World Championships is around 31.5 billion forints ($110 million).
A key component of the bid is the construction of a new stadium that will serve primarily as an athletics facility. The new stadium will be built on the eastern bank of the Danube river on the city’s south side, with a capacity of 40,000 for the championships, which will be reduced to 15,000 for future events.
Sebastian Coe, the IAAF’s president, said: “We are delighted to award the 2023 World Athletics Championships to Budapest in Hungary, a country of extraordinary athletic tradition and great experience in organising world-class sports events. It has been the scene of some of our greatest moments as a sport. We are excited about their plans for a new stadium that will become a great legacy for athletics.”
Budapest has never staged the biennial IAAF World Championships before. Doha, Qatar and Eugene, USA will host the 2019 and 2021 editions, respectively.
Winning the right to stage the championships represents some consolation for erstwhile leaders of Budapest’s aborted bid to host the 2024 Olympic Games, who were bitterly disappointed when the bid was abandoned in February 2017 following the complete breakdown of political support.
A youth political movement had been successful in a month-long campaign to garner enough signatures to force a referendum on the bid, but the government pulled the bid before a vote could be organised.
The IAAF said that it also considered a bid from Australia to host the 2021 World Cross Country Championships but no decision was reached, with the Council requesting “further development of aspects of this bid concept.”
Meanwhile, the IAAF’s council voted today to continue its ban on RUSAF, the Russian athletics federation, over the doping and corruption scandal that engulfed the sport in 2015.
The decision mean that Russian athletes will continue to be barred from competing in international competitions under the Russian flag.
The decision came after the council heard a report and recommendation by its task force on Russia’s progress in meeting conditions laid down for reinstatement.
The IAAF said that RUSAF would continue to be banned until two conditions are met: access for the IAAF’s Athletics Integrity Unit to samples from Moscow’s anti-doping laboratory to determine which Russian athletes have a case to answer for breach of the IAAF anti-doping rules; and RUSAF must pay all of the costs incurred in the work of the task force and in bringing or defending Russian cases at the Court of Arbitration for Sport.
The World Anti-Doping Agency said last month that its representatives had held meetings with Russian authorities over gaining full access to the laboratory, adding that it expected that the meetings “will pave the way for a full technical mission mid-December.”
WADA had come under heavy pressure over its controversial decision in September to end a suspension of RUSADA, the Russian anti-doping agency, without first gaining access to the lab, one of the conditions it had imposed for lifting the suspension.
The laboratory has been closed since the Russian doping scandal broke in 2015.
• National teams are to be permitted, for the first time, to display the logo of a national sponsor on their kit for the IAAF World Athletics Championships in Doha in 2019.
The IAAF said: “This will mean that the WCH will be treated in the same manner as all other World Athletics Series (WAS) events next year and will mean that Member Federations (if they wish to do so) can use the same kit for all WAS events including the WCH.
However, the IAAF said that the dispensation is subject to the condition that “the same national sponsor cannot have its logo appear on the kits of more than four Member Federations.”