2 March 2009 - Monte Carlo - The IAAF is delighted to announce a major new initiative with the creation of a new circuit of elite Athletics Meetings known as the “IAAF Diamond League” starting in 2010.
A replacement for the current ÅF Golden League of 6 meetings – the new IAAF Diamond League will meet one of the strategic goals of the IAAF, which is to enhance the worldwide appeal of athletics, by going outside Europe for the first time.
At present, 12 meetings have signed contracts to join the Diamond League, with 3 others on standby, which means that there will be competitions in Asia, Europe, the Middle East and the USA. The final composition of the league will be confirmed at the end of the 2009 season.
Amongst the other innovations of this new league is that athletes from 32 different athletics events can take part, thanks to careful distribution of the events amongst the different meetings. Starting in 2010, the IAAF Diamond League will offer more athletes, more earning opportunities. All 32 disciplines will have the same prize money with each meeting giving out $US 416,000. The biggest stars of the sport will be engaged with centralised contracts to ensure that the best athletes take part.
In each of the 32 events there will be an “IAAF Diamond Race” with points available throughout the season. The athlete with the most points at the end of the series will be awarded a 4 carat diamond (worth approximately $US 80,000)
The IAAF Diamond League will play a key role in supporting the IAAF World Athletics Series of championships, as well as athletics at the Olympic Games, by building up interest in athletics in the period leading up to and immediately afterwards the main event.
The international TV rights for the IAAF Diamond League will be marketed by IMG.
IAAF President Lamine Diack welcomed the creation of the Diamond League: “I am delighted that the IAAF, in close association with the meeting directors, has come up with a new professional circuit which will offer an easily understandable series of meetings to provide world class entertainment and also offer the maximum number of competition opportunities for a maximum number of athletes in different events. Thanks to the support of the meetings, we will be able to offer top class events that are based on solid financial foundations, provide the best organisational capability and serve to promote and develop the sport of athletics.”
IAAF Diamond League
Aviva London Grand Prix
Aviva British Grand Prix
ExxonMobil Bislett Games Oslo
DN Galan Stockholm
Meeting AREVA Paris St-Denis
Memorial Van Damme Brussels
Prefontaine Classic Eugene
Reebok Grand Prix New York
China Golden Grand Prix
DKB ISTAF Berlin *
Golden Gala Rome *
Qatar Athletics Super Grand Prix in Doha *
* contractual status to be confirmed