IAAF announces freeze on international transfer process

The freeze on international transfers has come a little too late for Fionnuala McCormack Picture by Ian Rutherford/PA Wire.
Malcolm McCausland

The IAAF has announced that it would be freezing the transfer of allegiance process.

This means that any athlete who has represented one country in international competition cannot switch to another country as long as the freeze is in place.

Athletes representing adopted countries has long been a polemic in athletics with Bahrain, Qatar and Turkey recruiting top east African runners who then win medals for their adopted countries despite spending little-to-no time in the country.

Ireland’s Fionnuala McCormack has suffered more then most as a consequence. The Wicklow woman missed out on medals at the European Cross Country Champs in December, finishing fifth behind two Kenyan-born Turks who won silver and gold.

Earlier in the year she was fourth in the 10,000m at the European Athletics Championships in a race won by Turkey’s Yasemin Can, formerly a Kenyan called Vivian Jemutai.

The IAAF announcement does not affect the 15 transfer applications currently being processed nor those athletes who have already gained a new citizenship.


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