Christian Taylor: Olympic champion criticises World Athletics

Christian Taylor: Olympic champion criticises World Athletics

July 17, 2020

Olympic champion Christian Taylor has told Sky Sports News a “lack of dialogue and information” from World Athletics led him to form the Athletics Association.

Taylor, a two-time Olympic and four-time world triple jump champion, has become the inaugural president of the Athletics Association, with its core aim to achieve greater representation for athletes.

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This includes having more say in race scheduling, better welfare and wellness programmes, ensuring athletes are not leaving the sport penniless and exploring better career opportunities for life after athletics.

Taylor believes athletes are not at the heart of decision making from the sport’s governing body.

“Seb Coe said that athletes were the centre of the sport,” he told Sky Sports News. “What does that look like? Is it real? Who is not doing their job? The World Athletics Athlete Commission, it’s lack of dialogue and information. Whatever information they get they are not passing it on.

“Often so much of what is needed is common sense, but common sense isn’t around that much.”

Taylor is one of the world’s great track and field athletes, dominating his sport for a decade, but he is also aware of his role as a prominent black sportsman.

“I’m too late doing this, I should have done it years ago. I apologise,” he said. “There must be more to my legacy, yes it’s good I jump and compete, but what can I do to change things and to be remembered?

“If the structures are not in place for an individual of colour it is clearly difficult. There isn’t enough representation of black people, but also there’s a gender issue as well. That looked as if it was being addressed, but it comes in waves, it needs to continue.

“What I do not want is support groups! I want to be with organisations who will and want to change.”

Taylor also revealed he sought counselling in the wake of George Floyd’s killing in Minneapolis.

“I was shaken to the core. I had to get some counselling to work it all out,” he said. “Whenever I switched on the news it was the pandemic, then another murder. Then the postponement of the Olympics which I had put a lot of eggs in that basket.

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