altLAMINE DIACK (pictured), the President of the International Assocation of Athletics Federations (IAAF), today backed a bid to have cross-country included in the Olympics.


Diack, a member of the International Olympic Committee (IOC), has backed a campaign started by distance running legends Haile Gebrselassie, Kenenisa Bekele and Paul Tergat for the discipline to be restored to the programme.


The trio, who between them have won five Olympic gold medals, 16 World Cross-Country titles and own every world record between 5,000 metres and the marathon, wrote a joint letter to the Diack and the IOC President Jacques Rogge, making their proposal.


Diack revealed during the first day of the IAAF Council meeting in Monte Carlo that he has written to Rogge backing the proposal.


The IAAF failed in an attempt earlier this year to get the IOC to include cross-country on the programme for the Winter Games.


The IOC replied that it was not possible because the Winter Olympic programme must be practised on “snow or ice”.


Cross-country was dropped from the Olympics after the 1924 Games in Paris when 23 of the 38 starters failed to finish due to the extreme heat and poisonous fumes from a nearby energy plant.