Bolt against changes to athletics program

Wed Dec 17, 2014 5:05pm EST
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By Kayon Raynor

KINGSTON (Reuters) - Six-times Olympic champion Usain Bolt said on Wednesday reports suggesting the 200 meters is among five athletics events at risk of being cut from the Olympic program is "ridiculous" and must not happen.

Bolt was responding to an article from Australia's Fairfax Media which said the event he has won at the last two Summer Olympics is one of five key disciplines at risk.

"Normally I'm not a controversial person, but I think that's just stupid. Personally, track and field is the highlight of the Olympics every edition, that's not even a question," the Jamaican sprinter told Reuters.

"So when you're going to try to take events away from the track and field event, it is just ridiculous and I don't think the IAAF should stand for that at all."

The International Olympic Committee voted last week to approve a wide-ranging package of reforms that could radically change the face of the amateur sporting world, but it did not mention specific sports and events.

The world governing body for athletics said earlier this week that no credence should be given to "unfounded speculation" regarding possible changes to the athletics program at the Olympic Games.

"While the Olympic agenda 2020 recommendations were passed at last week's session, no details or specific proposals have yet been made by the IOC as to how they will be implemented," the International Association of Athletics Federation said in a statement.

(Editing by Frank Pingue)

Sprinter Usain Bolt of Jamaica rides a scooter while meeting fans during a promotional event for a sports apparel brand, in Shanghai September 1, 2014. REUTERS/Stringer