Email released by University of Oregon sparked French probe – The Register-Guard

An email released by the University of Oregon in October caused French prosecutors to open an investigation into how TrackTown USA won the bid to host the 2021 World Outdoor Track & Field Championships in Eugene.

The email showed a connection between Nike executive Craig Masback and International ­Association of Athletics Federations President Sebastian Coe, who also was on the Nike payroll at the time.

The Jan. 30, 2015, email was from Masback to Track Town USA President Vin Lananna, updating Lananna on a conversation Masback had with Coe about TrackTown’s bid for the 2021 IAAF-controlled event.

Critics suggest it may be evidence that Beaverton-based Nike influenced the IAAF’s April decision to give TrackTown USA the championships without an open bidding process — an assertion contested by Masback, Coe and Lananna.

“We are proud of the bid on its merits and strongly believe that the quality and merits of the bid were ultimately the driving factor in the (IAAF) council’s decision on 2021,” Lananna said in a recent interview.

Nike’s a supporter of TrackTown USA, and there’s nothing untoward about that, Lananna said. “How would any bid ever go forward, how would any Olympics go forward without private sponsors? There would never be such a thing,” he said.

The email came to light only after a year-long legal push by The Register-Guard for the UO to release Lananna’s emails and other records on the 2019 and 2021 IAAF bids. The university released the Mosback/Lananna email in October after the newspaper filed an appeal with the Lane County District ­Attorney’s Office saying the UO had failed to release documents in a timely way. The BBC and others later obtained the ­record.


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