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Friday, February 15, 2008

Grievance over 2012 Olympic Trials site

The USATF Pacific Association has hosted many national championships at Hornet Stadium in Sacramento. They had hoped to host the 2012 Trials but got beat out by Eugene, and are also shut out of all the national meets in the interim.

Smelling a rat in the Oregon site selection and subsequent Nike employment of Craig Masback, they've decided to file a grievance. They weren't given an opportunity to bid for the Trials and there have been accusations of backroom dealing and corruption.

Curtis Anderson of the Eugene Register-Guard paints a different picture:
In the past, the USATF has followed two different paths in awarding the rights to host championship meets: either a formal bid process or a business deal.

Jill Geer, USATF director of communications, said a bid process was used to award the 2000 Trials to Sacramento and the 2008 Trials to Eugene, as well as the U.S. outdoor championships in 2006 and 2007.

On the other hand, she said USATF reached business agreements with various local organizing committees that hosted the U.S. outdoor meets in ’01, ’02, ’03 and ’05, in addition to the 2004 Trials in Sacramento.

According to Anderson, this isn't unusual at all--and it's a setup that Sacramento has used to its benefit in the past.

Over at the T&FN Boards, Charley Shaffer points out how the Pacific Association's director John Mansoor has been fairly bitchy about ANY national championships being awarded to other cities, and this threat isn't much out of line with past actions. Hmm, a leader in an essentially political position is in a scrap over protecting his is this news?

Let me just say that I'm spending a good chunk of money to attend this summer's Olympic Trials in Eugene. If they were in Sacramento I'd be watching them in the comfort of my own home. Mansoor is also complaining about the 2010 USATF meet being awarded to Des Moines, and there's not an athletic shoe company within 1,000 miles of Drake Stadium.

A whole lot of hot air if you ask me.

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