Report: FBI investigating 2021 track world championships awarding to Eugene, Oregon
The FBI is currently investigating the International Athletics Federation’s decision to award the 2021 track and field world championships to Eugene, Oregon, according to Mark Daly of the BBC.
Eugene’s Hayward Field was selected to host the championships after losing out to Doha for 2019. The IAAF awarded the championships bypassing the usual bidding process. The Swedish city of Gothenburg was also interested in hosting.
According to the BBC, the FBI and IRS are investigating if there has been any wrongdoing committed in the U.S.
The U.S. bid for the world championships was led by current USA Track and Field president Vin Lananna, who was previously the head of TrackTown USA. Current IAAF President Seb Coe served on the IAAF’s evaluation commission for the world championship host cities.
In 2015, BBC reported that Coe lobbied for Eugene while also serving as an ambassador for Nike, which is based not too far from Eugene and heavily present in the University of Oregon. Coe denied lobbying for anyone and also stepped down from his Nike role.
French prosecutors previously started their own investigation into corruption within the IAAF. Former IAAF President Lamine Diack is currently in custody in France and faces charges of money laundering and corruption,
On Wednesday, USA Track and Field announced that the 2020 U.S. Olympic Trials will be held in Walnut, California and not Sacramento or Eugene.