Published February 9, 2009
An impartial panel asked to review USA Track & Field's performance programs found that they suffered from a lack of "accountability, professionalism and cohesion" and made a series of recommendations for the organization to improve on its disappointing results at the Beijing Games. Its recommendations include: hiring a professional general manager of high performance; creating a selection system that is more transparent; restructuring the Team USA staffs to feature event coaches for key competition areas; shortening the U.S. Olympic Team Trials to five days from 10 days; and establishing a more stringent anti-doping reinstatement system. Perhaps the biggest business recommendation in the report was that USATF do more to promote and foster an athletes' union. The report encourages USATF to provide seed money for a union, which it contends would help ensure minimum pay for athletes at sanctioned events. The study, which was released today, was commissioned by USATF CEO Doug Logan in October '08 as part of his effort to improve the organization in order to win 30 medals at the '12 Olympic Games in London. The task force included some of the biggest names in Olympic sports, including Olympians Carl Lewis and Deena Kastor, former USOC Chief of Sports Performance Steve Roush and '92 Olympic Team coach Mel Rosen.