JAAA president unsure if Jamaican athletes have benefitted from global Athlete Welfare Fund

Voice of JAAA president Dr Warren Blake

Jamaica Athletics Administrative Association (JAAA) president, Dr  Warren Blake, says the local governing body has not been informed if any Jamaicans are among the 193 athletes who have been offered grants by World Athletics from the Athlete Welfare Fund.

The fund was created to help support athletes experiencing financial hardship due to the COVID-19 pandemic and will be assisting athletes from 53 member associations.

World Athletics, along with the International Athletics Foundation (IAF), created the fund after the pandemic resulted in the loss of income for athletes.

Each athlete will receive US $3000 from the $600,000 total contributed by philanthropists.

The IAF said they received 261 applications by the May 31 deadline and that these were evaluated to ensure that they met the eligibility criteria outlined by the working group that was chaired by World Athletics president Sebastian Coe.

To be eligible, athletes had to be qualified for selection for the Tokyo 2020 Olympics through the entry standard, prove a need for justifiable welfare through significant loss of 2020 income, compared to 2019 and must never have had an anti-doping violation.

Those who are in the top six in the world rankings, finished in the top six at any gold label road race in 2019 and those who earned more than US $6000 were ineligible.

Moroccan Olympic champion and 1500 metres world record holder Hicham el Guerrouj came up with the idea for the fund.

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