All-Russian Athletics Federation President Fears Lack Of Available Facilities Could Be Damaging
All-Russian Athletics Federation President Valentin Balakhnichev said on Tuesday that with the closure of Moscow’s Luzhniki Stadium and no "suitable alternative venue to host track and field events, there is little chance the Russian capital will be able to stage top-level athletics competitions in the near future," according to R-SPORT. Following the Sunday closing ceremony of the World Athletics Championships, host venue Luzhniki "was effectively shuttered" until '17 for an $800M refurbishment program to prepare for the 2018 World Cup. Balakhnichev said, "In the near future we’ll be able to carry virtually no major athletics championships in Moscow. Now there’s a great danger that the development of athletics in Moscow will be hindered." Balakhnichev added that discussions with Int'l Association of Athletics Federations President Lamine Diack about "adding Moscow to the Diamond League circuit went nowhere 'because we do not have the appropriate stadium'" (R-SPORT, 8/20).