Meeting with IAAF President Sebastian Coe
There should not be excessive politics in sport,
Belarus President Alexander Lukashenko said as he met with President of the
International Association of Athletics Federations (IAAF) Sebastian Coe on 8
“Athletes from large and rich
countries should not be the only winners. All athletes should be equal.
Therefore, I am totally against any closed topics in sport, including doping
issues. I am against solving issues with the help of money because a rich
country will win. There should be more justice in sport,” the head of state
“If we are fair in sport, I am
confident that Belarusian athletes will make themselves even more noticed on the
global arena, the Olympic Games. I tell this because I know your stance and
commitment to honesty in sport. You can rely on Belarus in this respect,”
Alexander Lukashenko added.
Lukashenko praised the fact that there are excellent specialists in the world
track and field athletics. “Many functionaries in various sports lack this
understanding, the understanding of an athlete. I think that such people like
you, former athletes showing excellent results, can make a difference in sport,”
the President said.
remarked that the visit of Sebastian Coe to Belarus and the events connected
with this visit are very important for the Belarusian side. “We see it as a sign
of respect, it gives us hope for the future cooperation,” the Belarusian leader
According to Alexander
Lukashenko, Belarus’ sport infrastructure will be able to host any international
competitions in athletics starting from 2017. “We have been modernizing our
national stadium with the focus on athletics. It will be good for football, but
it will be a track and field stadium with an additional training field and all
necessary facilities and equipment for training,” the Belarusian leader
Alexander Lukashenko noted that
although Belarus is not among the world’s great powers but it is the country
with its own sport traditions. “We have good schools that we preserved from the
Soviet times. We still lack some persistence and perhaps attention. We have
enough specialists in any sport, but we lack organization and complete
commitment to high standards from coaches and athletes. It would be worse if we
lacked money or skills. Everything else can be helped,” the President
The head of state also recalled
the times when Sebastian Coe was part of sport competitions. “I remember my
youth and Sebastian Coe on the race track whom I did not support of course as
next to you there always were our great athletes. But I have always admired
you,” Alexander Lukashenko stressed.
Sebastian Coe, in turn, stressed that politicians can be divided
into two groups: those who understand sport and those who do not. “It is a
pleasure to meet with such a high-ranking official who not only understands
sport very well but also understands athletics. It is also good that we have
similar opinions about the role of sport,” he said.
Sebastian Coe thanked Alexander Lukashenko for the attention to
pays to the preservation and promotion of track and field athletics, the
creation of infrastructure. He also expressed readiness to do his best to help
Belarus regularly host international track and field competitions.
The participants of the meeting discussed the
initiative to host the American-European track and field match in 2019. It is
possible that this event will be held in Belarus.