A lack of suitable venues is costing the United States the chance to host major athletics events, International Association of Athletics Federations (IAAF) President Lamine Diack warned at the Africa International Sports Convention (CISA) here today.
The 81-year-old, who will retire from his role as the head of athletics' governing body later this year following a 16-year reign, believes that was a key reason for Eugene losing out to Doha in the race to stage the 2019 IAAF World Championships.
The US is the most successful country in the history of the IAAF World Championships since it was launched in 1983, having won a total of 300 medals, including 138 gold, but they have never hosted the event.
"They have a lot of tracks in the country but no stadiums of athletics," Diack said.
"Eugene's stadium was in the University [of Oregon] and it only holds 22,000 and that is a lot less than other leading venues in the world."
Diack also revealed that he expects the American city to put forward a bid for the 2021 World Championships and Eugene can take heart from Doha, who were beaten to the 2017 event by London but went on to secure the right to host the 2019 competition.
The 2019 bid race proved to be the last one Diack oversaw during his time as IAAF President, and he will be replaced by either Briton Sebastian Coe or Sergey Bubka of the Ukraine at an election in August.
"They are both good guys and they have the necessary experience to take on the role," Diack added.
"If I had to pick one I would have to give a reason and I can't do that at the moment."
The Senegalese was the most stellar name on the list of attendees for CISA, and he was given a special award in recognition of his contribution to African and world sport during his illustrious career at the convention, which concluded in the Rwandan capital today.
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