10 Feb 2009

US Track and Field set for major overhaul in the wake of poor Olympic performance

7:00 pm on 10 February 2009

The Olympic legend Carl Lewis is warning the United States faces single digit medal hauls in track and field in the next few Olympics unless is implements changes suggested by a review in the wake of Beijing.

Lewis says it's not that other nations are catching up but rather the US is going backwards.

USA Track and Field is to revamp its Olympic preparation and training methods after the worst US men's track medal showing in Olympic history in Beijing.

Creation of a general manager for high performance athletes, a shorter US Olympic trials and a trade union for US competitors are among the proposed initiatives.

A review panel found a lack of accountability, professionalism and cohesion plus a culture of mistrust for selecting staff and blamed coaches, agents and athletes for poor planning to too much travel before the Olympics.

Much of the blame was aimed at competitors looking out for their own interests over what might be best for the sport or the US squad.