Asian Athletics Association (AAA) president Dahlan Jumaan al-Hamad hoped the Court of Arbitration for Sports will render a wise decision on Dutee Chand’s case after the IAAF approached the CAS with more evidence in support of its Hyperandrogenism Policy.
“She (Dutee) is an Indian athlete and we want to support our athletes. But at the same time there are international rules and regulations and we also have to abide by that. I cannot comment on a case which is pending at the CAS. We have to wait for the case to be decided,” Al-Hamad said while addressing the media after the AAA Congress.
“I can just hope that the CAS will give a wise decision, a right decision.”
He informed that 44 countries out of 45 members have confirmed participation in the 22nd Asian Athletics Championships which begins tomorrow at the Kalinga Stadium here.
Turkmenistan, which is hosting the Asian Indoor and Martial Arts Games in September, is the only country which is not taking part in the continent’s flagship event.
“We have 45 member countries and out of these 44 have confirmed participation in this Asian Championships in India.
It shows that all the countries of Asia want to come and compete in India. It is safe to say that sport is growing in Asia,” he said.
The Congress decided to make changes in its constitution so as to make the posts of general secretary and treasurer separate and held by two persons from the 2019 onwards.
“We have decided to separate the post of general secretary and treasurer into two which until now have been held by the same person (by Nicolas Maurice of Singapore).
This will be done after the AAA Congress in 2019,” the AAA chief said.
“Moreover, the general secretary will not be an elective post and hence will not be an elected member of the AAA Council. The person who holds this office will now be made a staff of the AAA. We feel the holder of this post should not need be concerned of whether he will be elected in the AAA elections,” Al-Hamad said.
“The vacancy of an elective member of the AAA Council will be filled up by a woman. So, there will be three women members of the AAA Council after 2019 Congress,” said Al-Hamad, who was elected as AAA chief in 2013 after defeating India’s Suresh Kalmadi in the polls, before being re-elected to the post in 2017.
The Qatari, who is also a vice president in the powerful IAAF Council, said that the Congress also discussed the tricky issue of some top athletes skipping Asian Championships to prepare themselves for the World Championships which falls in the same year in every edition.
“We discussed it and we have requested the IAAF chief Sebastian Coe who was also present at the Congress to look into the issue. He has promised to deal with the issue and we are hoping to find a solution in this regard soon,” he said.
Al-Hamad also said that in line with IAAF’s push for innovative and new ideas to bring more fans to the sport, the AAA would also devise new strategies to increase the popularity of the sport in the continent.
“We have decided to prepare a strategic plan for the period 2018-21 and we will make some changes in our competition structure including the Asian Grand Prix events. We will have a new format of the Asian Grand Prix events in two months,” he said without elaborating much.
He also said that the AAA Congress discussed the issue of doping and re-affirmed the commitment by its members nations to eliminate the menace.
“I feel doping is like a cancer which will have to be eliminated by its roots.”