Diamond League programme cuts could impact Olympics - Beth Dobbin

By Lauren Dick & Heather DewarBBC Scotland
Beth Dobbin races against Jodie Williams in the 200m Muller British Athletics Championships
Beth Dobbin (right) was runner-up at three of her five Diamond League events during the 2019 season

Scottish sprinter Beth Dobbin is concerned for the "future of the Olympics" after the "outrageous" decision to cut events from the Diamond League programme.

Dobbin's 200m discipline will not be included at some meetings, along with three others, for 2020.

Speaking to BBC Scotland, the 25-year-old also told how she found out about the news on Twitter.

"We had no idea what events were being cut," said Dobbin.

"Athletics is so simple and easy to follow, nothing needs to change in the disciplines. No one is going to be interested in the sports if they can't watch them.

"It is really worrying for the future, for events like the Olympics - they say the changes are only for the 2020 programme, but they said that about the hammer throw and that has all but disappeared."

The 200m and 3,000m steeplechase will still feature at 10 of 15 Diamond meetings, while just two will stage the discus and triple jump to streamline meetings to "fit 90-minute broadcasts".

None of the four will be included in the Diamond League final in Zurich next September.

"We have been told they surveyed in various nations," said Dobbin.

"Then in Great Britain, IAAF are saying they surveyed and the athletes are saying 'where are these surveys?' It's outrageous - I fear for the future of the sport, young people aren't going to get to see that on television."

'We want our say'

Olympic triple jumper Christian Taylor has started a new union for athletes in response to the changes.

This is the first of its kind for athletics as the only other such body is the Athlete's Commission, which is run by the IAAF.

"We want a say in how the programme is run," added Dobbin, who finished seventh at last year's European Championships.

"It is our sport at the end of the day. I've not seen one positive comment about this decision on social media. I've seen world champions on Twitter saying they are going to boycott the Diamond League until something is resolved."

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