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World Athletics' prize money for Olympic champions is discriminatory, EOC says

World Athletics' prize money for Olympic champions is discriminatory, EOC says
The Olympic rings are displayed on the first floor of the Eiffel Tower ahead of the Paris 2024 Olympic games in Paris, France June 7, 2024.
PHOTO: Reuters file

BERLIN — The decision by World Athletics to offer prize money to gold medallists at next month's Paris Olympics is discriminatory and goes against Olympic values, European Olympic Committees president Spyros Capralos said on Friday (June 7).

World Athletics (WA) and the International Boxing Association (IBA) have announced payments for their own medallists, with WA offering US$50,000 (S$67,675) in prize money to its 48 Olympic champions in Paris.

WA, headed by former Olympic champion and current International Olympic Committee (IOC) member Sebastian Coe, will not offer cash for silver or bronze at these Games but will do so at the Los Angeles Olympics in 2028.

The IBA has said it would offer money to all medallists, at the July 26-Aug. 11 Games, with US$100,000 to gold medal winners, US$50,000 for silver medals and US$25,000 for bronze.

These decisions have angered other international federations as well as the IOC, which sees the move as a direct interference in their event without any prior consultation.

"We believe in the Olympic Games the athletes go there to compete for the values of the Olympic Games and their last preoccupation is to get money and bonuses," said Capralos, who is also an IOC member.

A total of 10,500 athletes are expected to compete across 32 sports in Paris.

"I think that every country through their National Olympic Committees and governments have set bonuses for athletes winning medals," Capralos told a press conference in Romania.

"I think just giving some money to the gold winner is discriminatory and does not follow the principles of solidarity."

Capralos said there had been no discussions with either international federation since their recent announcements.

He said he would be attending the European athletics championships in Rome starting later on Friday, hinting at possible discussions on the matter. But he said there was no contact at all with the IBA.

"Regarding boxing there is no international boxing federation. With them (IBA) there have not been any discussions," Capralos said.

The IBA is not organising the boxing tournament at the Paris Olympics after it was stripped of recognition by the IOC last year over a series of issues, including governance and finance.

The IOC has urged the creation of a new global body for the sport, warning that athletes whose national federations adhered to the IBA instead of its IOC-approved successor would not be allowed to take part in the Los Angeles 2028 Olympics.

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