International Association of Athletics Federations

The International Association of Athletics Federations (IAAF) is the international governing body for the sport of athletics. It was founded on 17 July 1912 as the International Amateur Athletic Federation by representatives from 17 national athletics federations at the organization's first congress in Stockholm, Sweden. Since October 1993, it has been headquartered in Monaco.

Beginning in 1982, the IAAF passed several amendments to its rules to allow athletes to receive compensation for participating in international competitions. However, the organization retained the word amateur in its name until its 2001 congress, at which it changed its name to the International Association of Athletics Federations.

The IAAF's president is Sebastian Coe of the United Kingdom. He was elected at the 2015 congress before the 2015 World Championships in Athletics in Beijing, China.[1]

International Association of Athletics Federations
International Association of Athletics Federations logo
Formation17 July 1912
TypeSports federation
215 member federations
Sebastian Coe


The process to found the IAAF was started at a meeting in Stockholm, Sweden on 17 July 1912 soon after the completion of the 1912 Summer Olympics in that city. Here 27 representatives from 17 national federations agreed to meet at a congress in Germany the following year overseen by Sigfrid Edström who was to become the fledgling organisation's first president. The congress that started on 20 August 1913 in Berlin is when the foundation of the IAAF was formally completed.[2][3][4]

Doping controversy

In 2015, a whistleblower leaked IAAF's blood test records from major competitions. The records revealed that, between 2001 and 2012, athletes with suspicious drug test results won a third of the medals in endurance events at the Olympics and World Championships—a total of 146 medals including 55 golds—but the IAAF caught none of them.[5] After reviewing the results, Robin Parisotto, a scientist and leading "anti-doping" expert, said, "Never have I seen such an alarmingly abnormal set of blood values. So many athletes appear to have doped with impunity, and it is damning that the IAAF appears to have idly sat by and let this happen."[5] Craig Reedie, president of the World Anti-Doping Agency (WADA), said his organisation was "very disturbed by these new allegations ... which will, once again, shake the foundation of clean athletes worldwide", and that its "independent commission will investigate the claims".[5]

Around the same time, the University of Tübingen in Germany claimed that the IAAF suppressed publication of a 2011 report in which "[h]undreds of athletes", as many as a third of the world's top athletes, "admitted violating anti-doping rules".[6]

On 1 November 2015, former IAAF president Lamine Diack was arrested in France and is under investigation on suspicion of corruption and money laundering.[7][8] Diack allegedly accepted "$1.2 million from the Russian athletics federation to cover up the positive doping tests of at least six Russian athletes in 2011."[7]

In November 2015, WADA published its report, which found "systemic failures" in the IAAF had prevented an "effective" anti-doping programme and concluded that Russia should be banned from competing in international competitions because of its athletes' test results.[9] The report continued that "the IAAF allowed the conduct to occur and must accept its responsibility" and that "corruption was embedded" in the organization.[10]

In January 2016, as a result of the doping scandal and WADA's report, the IAAF's biggest sponsor, Adidas, announced that it was ending its sponsorship deal with the IAAF four years early. The BBC reported that as a result the IAAF would lose $33 million (£23 million) worth of revenue. The 11-year sponsorship deal with Adidas was due to run until 2019.[11] World-record holding sprinter Michael Johnson described the scandal as more serious than that faced by FIFA.[10] In February 2016, Nestlé announced that it was ending its IAAF sponsorship.[12]

In June 2016, following a meeting of the IAAF's ruling council, the IAAF upheld its ban on Russia's track and field team from entering the Rio de Janeiro Olympics.[13] In February 2017, All-Russia Athletic Federation disqualified by decision of the IAAF Council for 8 years for the creation of a doping system.


Since the establishment of the IAAF, it has had six presidents:

Name Country Presidency
Sigfrid Edström  Sweden 1912–1946
Lord Burghley (later Lord Exeter)  United Kingdom 1946–1976
Adriaan Paulen  Netherlands 1976–1981
Primo Nebiolo  Italy 1981–1999
Lamine Diack  Senegal 1999–2015
Lord Coe  United Kingdom 2015–

Area associations

IAAF map
Map of world with six area associations

The IAAF has a total of 215 member federations divided into 6 area associations.[14][15]

     AAA – Asian Athletics Association in Asia
     CAA – Confederation of African Athletics in Africa
     CONSUDATLE – Confederación Sudamericana de Atletismo in South America
     EAA – European Athletic Association in Europe
     NACAC – North American, Central American and Caribbean Athletic Association in North America
     OAA – Oceania Athletics Association in Oceania

Age categories

  • Senior (all the athletes over 20 years old) (age-group competition over age 35 has become the domain of World Masters Athletics)
  • Junior (athletes aged 18 or 19 years on 31 December of the year of the competition)[16]
  • Youth (athletes aged 16 or 17 years on 31 December of the year of the competition)[16]


Included in its charge are the standardization of timekeeping methods and world records. The IAAF also organizes many major athletics competitions worldwide, including:

World Athletics Series

Berlin 2009 - Olympiastadion
The World Championships in Athletics is the foremost athletics competition held by the IAAF.
Competition Frequency Established
IAAF World Championships in Athletics Every two years 1983
IAAF World Indoor Championships in Athletics Every two years 1985
IAAF World Cross Country Championships Every two years 1973
IAAF World Half Marathon Championships Every two years 1992
IAAF World U20 Championships Every two years 1986
IAAF World U18 Championships in Athletics Every two years 1999
IAAF World Race Walking Cup Every two years 1961
IAAF World Marathon Cup Every two years 1985
IAAF Continental Cup Every four years 1977
IAAF World Relays Every two years 2014
† = Formerly IAAF World Cup

One-day events

Competition Established
IAAF Diamond League 2010
IAAF World Challenge Meetings 2010
IAAF World Indoor Tour 2016
IAAF Label Road Races
IAAF Cross Country Permit Meetings
IAAF World Combined Events Challenge 1998
IAAF World Race Walking Challenge 2003


Competition Last held
IAAF Indoor Permit Meetings 2015
IAAF World Athletics Tour 2009
IAAF Golden League 2009
IAAF Super Grand Prix 2009
IAAF Grand Prix 2009
IAAF World Athletics Final 2009
IAAF World Road Running Championships 2007
IAAF Grand Prix Final 2002
IAAF World Cross Challenge 2000
IAAF World Road Relay Championships 1998

IAAF partner organisations

As of 1 November 2015:[17]

See also


  1. ^ "Athletics: Sebastian Coe Elected IAAF President". BBC Sport: Athletics. 19 August 2015. Retrieved 21 November 2015.
  2. ^ Reprint (page 226) at Google Books UK (
      The 1912 Stockholm Olympics: Essays on the Competitions, the People, the City, eds. Leif Yttergren and Hans Bolling, Jefferson NC and London: McFarland & Company, Inc., Publishers, 2012. ISBN 978-0-7864-7131-7.
      Translated from the Swedish: Stockholmsolympiaden 1912 (Stockholm: Stockholmia, 2012).
  3. ^ "IAAF Presidential Election History". Jesse Squire, Daily Relay, 18 August 2015.
  4. ^ "The Beginning of the IAAF: A study of its background and foundation". Dr. Hans Bolling, (adviser: Prof. em. Jan Lindroth), Stockholm/Sweden 2007. Retrieved 18 September 2015.
  5. ^ a b c Roan, Dan (2 August 2015). "Leaked IAAF Doping Files: WADA 'Very Alarmed' by Allegations". BBC Sport: Athletics. Retrieved 21 November 2015.
  6. ^ "IAAF Accused of Suppressing Athletes' Doping Study". BBC Sport: Athletics. 16 August 2015. Retrieved 21 November 2015.
  7. ^ a b "Former IAAF President Under Criminal Investigation for Doping Cover-Up". Sports Illustrated. 4 November 2015. Retrieved 21 November 2015.
  8. ^ "Athletics doping: Interpol to co-ordinate probe". BBC News. 9 November 2015. Retrieved 19 November 2015.
  9. ^ "Athletics Doping: WADA Report Calls for Russia Ban". BBC Sport: Athletics. 9 November 2015. Retrieved 21 November 2015.
  10. ^ a b "IAAF scandal worse than Fifa's, says US great Michael Johnson". 10 December 2017 – via
  11. ^ Mark Daly and Dan Roan (24 January 2016). "Adidas to end IAAF sponsorship deal early in wake of doping crisis". BBC Sport: Athletics. Retrieved 24 January 2016.
  12. ^ "Nestle ends IAAF sponsorship deal". 10 February 2016 – via
  13. ^ Nesha Starcevic and Stephen Wilson (17 June 2016). "IAAF upholds bans on Russian athletes for Rio Games". Retrieved 17 June 2016.
  14. ^ "IAAF National Member Federations". Retrieved 8 August 2015.
  15. ^ "Archived copy" (PDF). Archived from the original (PDF) on 25 May 2010. Retrieved 20 May 2010.CS1 maint: Archived copy as title (link). IAAF.
  16. ^ a b "Basic Information Guide: 2011 IAAF World Cross Country Championships, Punta Umbria, Spain". IAAF. 10 September 2010. Retrieved 31 January 2013.
  17. ^ "IAAF Competition Rules 2016-2017" (PDF). International Association of Athletics Federations. 1 November 2015. p. 315. Retrieved 29 October 2017.
  18. ^ "IAAF: Official IAAF world rankings first step in fundamental changes in athletics| News |". Retrieved 2018-02-08.

External links

2001 IAAF World Indoor Championships

The 8th IAAF World Indoor Championships in Athletics were held at the Pavilhão Atlântico in Lisbon, Portugal from March 9 to March 11, 2001. It was the first time the Championships had been held in Portugal. There were a total number of 511 participating athletes from 136 countries.

Association of Panamerican Athletics

The Association of Panamerican Athletics (APA; Spanish: Asociación Panamericana de Atletismo) is a new regional confederation governing body of athletics for national governing bodies and multi-national federations within North, Central and South America, and the Caribbean, replacing the Pan American Athletics Commission.The organization was founded on October 28, 2011, during the XVI Pan American Games in Guadalajara, Jalisco, México. The inaugural president is Víctor López from Puerto Rico, former president of the Central American and Caribbean Athletic Confederation (CACAC).

Athletics Association of Thailand

The Athletics Association of Thailand (AAT, Thai: สมาคมกรีฑาแห่งประเทศไทย), officially known as the Athletics Association of Thailand under the Royal Patronage of His Majesty the King Thai: สมาคมกรีฑาแห่งประเทศไทย ในพระบรมราชูปถัมภ์) is the national governing body for Sport of athletics. It is accredited by the International Association of Athletics Federations (IAAF) which is the governing body for the sport of Athletics in the world, and the National Olympic Committee of Thailand (NOCT). It founded in 1948.

The association is headquartered in Khlong Luang, Pathum Thani. The current head of the federation is Pol.Col. Sant Sarutanond.

Dafne Schippers

Dafne Schippers (Dutch pronunciation: [ˈdɑfnə ˈsxɪpərs]; born 15 June 1992) is a Dutch track and field athlete. She competes primarily in the sprints, having previously participated in the heptathlon. She is the 2015 and 2017 World Champion and won silver at the 2016 Summer Olympics in the 200 metres.

Schippers holds the European record in the 200 m with a time of 21.63 s and is the third-fastest woman of all time at this distance. She is co-record holder in the 4 × 100 m relay.

Egyptian Athletic Federation

The Egyptian Athletic Federation is the governing body for the sport of athletics in Egypt. It is a member of the Confederation of African Athletics and the International Association of Athletics Federations.

The Federation was founded in 1910 and currently based at the Sport Federations Building, Nasr City, Cairo.

Estonian Athletic Association

The Estonian Athletic Association (Estonian: Eesti Kergejõustikuliit) is the governing body for the sport of athletics in Estonia.

An Estonian athlete, Nikolai Vedehin, was accused of doping by The International Association of Athletics Federations (IAAF). He was temporarily banned from competing in any events. Nikolai was found to have the forbidden substance Trimetazidine in his urine sample which was taken in Kenya on February 5, 2015. Nikolai admitted to taking the drug but claimed he was not aware that it was prohibited during while he was not competing. This was a statement he gave in writing when he provided the original urine sample. The president of the Estonian Athletics Association, Erich Teigamagi stated that it was difficult to examine the matter substantively at the time as Nikolai was not in Estonia at the time. Nikolai notified the Estonian Athletics Association that he was ready to cooperate with them in the probe.

In another statement Erich Teigamagi said "Together with IAAF, the World Anti-Doping Agency and Antidoping Estonia are working consistently to combat banned substances and methods. The Estonian Athletics Association is working closely with IAAF and Antidoping Estonia."

IAAF Hall of Fame

The IAAF Hall of Fame was established by the International Association of Athletics Federations in 2012. It is intended to honor individuals who have made valuable contributions in the sport of athletics both internationally and in their home countries that match certain criteria.The inaugural class, composed of 24 individuals, was introduced in November 2012.

IAAF Super Grand Prix

The Super Grand Prix was an annual series of athletics meetings organised by the International Association of Athletics Federations (IAAF).

International Trail Running Association

International Trail Running Association (ITRA) is the governing body for trail running. It was formed in 2013, emerging from the 1st International Trail Running Conference held in 2012. It was first recognised by the International Association of Athletics Federations (IAAF) in 2015.

Kipchoge Keino

Kipchoge Hezekiah Keino (born 17 January 1940) is a retired Kenyan track and field athlete. He was the chairman of the Kenyan Olympic Committee (KOC) until 29th September 2017. A two-time Olympic gold medalist, Keino was among the first in a long line of successful middle and long distance runners to come from the country and has helped and inspired many of his fellow countrymen and women to become the athletics force that they are today. In 2012, he was of one of 24 athletes inducted as inaugural members of the International Association of Athletics Federations Hall Of Fame.

Lamine Diack

Lamine Diack (born 7 June 1933) is a Senegalese businessman, sports administrator, and former athlete. He was president of the International Association of Athletics Federations (IAAF) from 1999 to 2015. He is the subject of numerous investigations into corruption during his tenure as president. He was also a member of the International Olympic Committee (IOC), and the chairman of the National Water Company "Société Nationale des Eaux" of Senegal (SONES) from 1995 to 2001.

Marathon world record progression

This list is a chronological progression of record times for the marathon. World records in the marathon are now ratified by the International Association of Athletics Federations (IAAF), the international governing body for the sport of athletics.

Kenyan Eliud Kipchoge set a new world record for men of 2:01:39 on September 16, 2018, at the 2018 Berlin Marathon. Kipchoge also ran the fastest ever marathon with a 2:00:25 clocking at the Nike Breaking2 race in Monza, Italy on May 6, 2017, but the IAAF says "times achieved in the race may not be eligible for official world record ratification should an application be made."

The IAAF recognizes two world records for women, a time of 2:15:25 set by Paula Radcliffe on April 13, 2003 during the London Marathon which was contested by men and women together, and a "Women Only" record of 2:17:01, set by Mary Keitany, on April 23, 2017 at the London Marathon for women only.

Mary Jepkosgei Keitany

Mary Jepkosgei Keitany (born 18 January 1982) is a Kenyan long distance runner. She is the world record holder in a women-only marathon, having won the 2017 London Marathon in a time of 2:17:01.

Her half marathon personal best of 1:05:50 is a former women's world record. She also has held the world record at 10 miles (50:05 minutes), 20 kilometres (1:02:36), and 25 kilometres (1:19:53), all of which were set in road races. In August 2018 she was honored by the Shoe4Africa foundation and she opened the Mary Keitany Shoe4Africa school in Torokwonin, Baringo County, Kenya.

Norwegian Athletics Association

The Norwegian Athletics Association (Norwegian: Norges Friidrettsforbund, NFIF) is the national governing body for the sport of athletics in Norway, including track and field, road running, cross country running and racewalking. The association is a member of the Norwegian Olympic and Paralympic Committee and Confederation of Sports, and a member of the International Association of Athletics Federations and European Athletics.

The association was founded on 1 May 1896 as Norsk Idrætsforbund. Until the formation of Norges Orienteringsforbund in 1945, NFIF also organized orienteering.

Palestine Athletic Federation

The Palestine Athletic Federation is the governing body for the sport of athletics in the State of Palestine. The organisation is maintained by the PLE Olympic Committee headquartered at Al Nazir Street, in Gaza City. It is a member of the Arab Athletics Federation, and holds tasks such as providing track suits for male and female Palestinian athletes that compete at outdoor and indoor track and field events, their transportation costs and sports equipment.

Paralympic athletics

Paralympic athletics is a disabled sport practiced by athletes with a physical disability who have competed at separate international events since 1952. It is governed by the International Paralympic Committee through its World Para Athletics subcommittee, and has been one of the sports at the Summer Paralympic Games since 1960.Rules for the sport are adapted from those set forth by the International Association of Athletics Federations (IAAF). The majority of rules for Paralympic athletics are the same as those for able-bodied competitions.

Philippine Athletics Track and Field Association

The Philippine Athletics Track and Field Association (PATAFA), formerly the Philippine Amateur Track and Field Association, is the national governing body for athletics sports such as track and field, road running, cross country running, and race walking in the Philippines.

Philip Ella Juico was elected president of PATAFA in November 2014 but the Philippine Olympic Committee withdrew recognition due to the absence of an observer from the committee to overlook the election. Another election was held in March 25, 2015, now with POC Vice President Joey Romasanta as observer and Juico was recognized as president by the Olympic body. Juico will serve a three-year term.Upon the legitimization of his post as president, Juico announced a plan to rename the Athletics body and drop the word "amateur" because the body also accommodates professional and semi-pro athletes and not only collegiate players. The sporting body was renamed Philippine Athletics Track and Field Association in March 25 at the POC General Assembly where the athletics body was also granted recognition by the Olympic Body.

Sergey Bubka

Sergey Nazarovich Bubka (Russian: Сергей Назарович Бубка; Ukrainian: Сергій Назарович Бубка, born 4 December 1963) is a Ukrainian former pole vaulter. He represented the Soviet Union until its dissolution in 1991. Bubka was twice named Athlete of the Year by Track & Field News, and in 2012 was one of 24 athletes inducted as inaugural members of the International Association of Athletics Federations Hall of Fame.Bubka won six consecutive IAAF World Championships, an Olympic gold medal and broke the world record for men's pole vault 35 times. Sergey has also beaten his own record 14 times. He was the first pole vaulter to clear 6.0 metres and 6.10 metres.He held the indoor world record of 6.15 meters, set on 21 February 1993 in Donetsk, Ukraine for almost 21 years until France's Renaud Lavillenie cleared 6.16 metres on 15 February 2014 at the same meet in the same arena.

He is the current outdoor world record holder at 6.14 meters, a record he has held since 31 July 1994, though since adopting rule 260.18a in 2000 the IAAF regards Lavillenie's record as the official "world record."Bubka is Senior Vice President of the International Association of Athletics Federations (IAAF), serving since 2007, and President of the National Olympic Committee of Ukraine, serving since 2005. He is also an Honorary Member of the International Olympic Committee (IOC), having been involved since 1996.

Tirunesh Dibaba

Tirunesh Dibaba, also known as Tirunesh Dibaba Kenene, (Amharic: ጥሩነሽ ዲባባ ቀነኒ; born 1 June 1985) is an Ethiopian athlete who competes in long distance track events and international road races. She is the 5000 metres (outdoor track) world record holder. She has won three Olympic track gold medals, five World Championship track gold medals, four individual World Cross Country (WCC) adult titles, and one individual WCC junior title. She is nicknamed the "Baby Faced Destroyer."

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