Photo: Robert Harting (Getty Images)
Just days after the IAAF released it preliminary list of 20 nominees shortlist for world athlete of the year in the respective gender, one of the nominees, Germany’s current world, Olympic and European champion Dicuss thrower Robert Hartling has asked the Governing body to remove his nomination this year. This is due to Justin Gatlin being named among the nominees for the male award. Harting who is a very outspoken athlete is never afraid to speak his mind on issues surrounding track and field.
He was quoted in the media saying; “I asked the IAAF to cancel my nomination for the IAAF World Athlete of the Year. I do like the nomination as such but I cannot stand the fact that I am on the same list with former doping offenders to choose from. And for me that is the reason for my waiver, not an insult to my fans”
“I do not like it and see it as a provocation to me and especially for my fans”. The IAAF should “take honesty in their evaluation scheme” .
“If the IAAF does not mean to differ these circumstances, they should not do it at all. I request officially to cancel my nomination!”
The American top sprinter, Justin Gatlin is one of the strong candidates for the award after his very outstanding 2013-2014 season, which saw him being unbeaten throughout the season and topping the world ranking with times of 9.77 seconds and 19.68 in the male short sprints during the season
The other nominees besides the two, Harting and Gatlin, are pole vaulter Renaud Lavillenie (France), high jumper Mutaz Essa Barshim (Qatar) and marathon world record holder Dennis Kimetto (Kenya). 400m runner Nigel Amos (BOT), Jairus Kipchoge Birech (KEN), High jumper Bogdan Bondarenko (UKR), Yohann Diniz (FRA) and 400m specialist LaShawn Merritt (USA).