Dina Asher-Smith endorses Christian Taylor’s new athletes union after Diamond League event cull

Harry Latham-Coyle
The Independent
Dina Asher-Smith celebrates clinching her first world title: Getty
Dina Asher-Smith celebrates clinching her first world title: Getty

Dina Asher-Smith has endorsed Christian Taylor’s new athletes’ union in the wake of the decision to cull four events form the Diamond League.

The American triple jumper founded The Athletics Association – a group tasked with ensuring athletes have a greater say in the sport – after the 200m, 3000m steeplechase, discus and triple jump were cut from some Diamond League events in 2020.

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Asher-Smith, who won two silvers and a gold medal in the sprint events at the recent World Athletics Championships in Doha, tweeted her support for the new union.

“You know you always have my support!! Asher-Smith wrote. “Let’s do this.”

While the 200m and 3000m steeplechase will still feature in ten out of the fifteen meets on the Diamond League circuit, none of the four events will feature in the Diamond League final.

Only two meets will include the two field events that have been cut.

“Our objective is to create a faster-paced, more exciting global league that will be the showcase for our sport. A league that broadcasters want to show and fans want to watch,” IAAF president and Diamond League chairman Sebastian Coe said of the decision.

“However, we understand the disappointment of those athletes in the disciplines not part of the 2020 Diamond League season.”

Taylor is the three-time reigning triple jump world champion, and has taken the gold medal at the last two Olympic Games, too.

He has been outspoken in criticising the decision to cut his event.

Taylor feels that the existing athletes’ bodies are too tied to the IAAF, and that they do not have enough of a voice.

“It’s time for real change. I refuse to sit back any longer. For some time now I have been in discussion with other elite track and field athletes and we have been talking about how we can have a greater say in the future of our sport,” Taylor said in launching The Athletics Association.

“We will fight for athletes’ rights and ultimately demand a seat at the table and a say in how our sport is run and how the sport can grow and evolve without ripping out its very core.

“At the moment we, the athletes, have no power. Yes there is an Athletes’ Commission but we need something independent of the IAAF/World Athletics.”

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