11 January 2000

International Amateur Athletic Federation
17 Rue Princesse Florestine
BP 359,
MC 98007


Re: IAAF certified implements etc

Dear Colleagues,

The certification system which came into force on April 1st 1999 is in many ways an excellent and ambitious project. However, in our opinion, it should be realised that the way in which it has been introduced is not realistic. It is our clear impression that the majority of international competitions in 1999 have been carried out as if the regulations concerning certification were non-existent. Above all this is due to economical reasons.

On one hand you have the rather few manufacturers who have paid considerable sums, with the obvious expectation that only their certified implements would be bought and used after April 1st. On the other hand you have the real world "below" the IAAF absolute top level, with the great majority of National Federations, Clubs and Meeting Organizers, who are struggling with heavy financial problems and therefore simply cannot abide by the regulations themselves, and cannot possibly demand that athletes appearing with their own implements shall do just that. Moreover it is also absolutely unrealistic to think that starting blocks, hurdles, steeplechase hurdles, jumping- and throwing facilities etc can be replaced overnight in stadiums all over the world.

These changes can only be introduced over a reasonable period of time, allowing for the simultaneous use of "old" implements etc, which are otherwise according to IAAF specifications, and even more so when the regulations are going to include also equipment for timing, wind measurement, distance measurement etc. Therefore this is a sad example of the type of rules and regulations which, on beforehand, cannot be expected to be abided by, and therefore also weakens the respect for all other IAAF rules and regulations, which is definitely not what is needed in the new millennium.

IAAF has introduced a set of regulations without any possibility of exceptions, and in our opinion IAAF, together with the Area Federations and the National Federations, must now additionally be facing some problems concerning all the records achieved in 1999 with non-certified implements.

Referring to the above, we urge you to reconsider this whole project very carefully.

Kind regards,

Georg Facius
International Advisor