Triathlon latest sport to leave SportAccord

May, 18, 2015

Marius VizerAP Photo/Dmitry Lovetsky

LAUSANNE, Switzerland -- Triathlon has joined the exodus from umbrella body SportAccord following Marius Vizer's attack on the International Olympic Committee.

The International Triathlon Union says its executive board voted unanimously to suspend its membership in SportAccord, which represents Olympic and non-Olympic sports federations.

The ITU says "we are looking forward to seeing this issue resolved in the near future in the best interest of sport."

Triathlon follows wrestling, taekwondo, boxing, athletics, archery, canoeing, shooting and bobsled in suspending or cutting relations with SportAccord. The Association of Summer Olympic International Federations has also suspended ties.

Vizer, president of SportAccord, blasted the IOC and President Thomas Bach in a speech at the SportAccord convention in Sochi, Russia, last month. Vizer said the IOC system was "outdated" and Bach's reform program was of no use.

Alan Webb enjoying transition to triathlon

July, 29, 2014
Alan WebbAndy Lyons/Getty ImagesAfter much track success on the national level, Alan Webb is now focused on triathlons.
Five months into his triathlon career Alan Webb is progressing quickly and, perhaps more important, feeling mentally recharged, according to an update on the U.S. Olympic Committee's site.

Webb, who holds the American record in the mile, has done three individual triathlons since running his last elite track race on February 15 at the Millrose Games. In his most recent, held last July 26 in Magog, Quebec, Webb placed second and was 2 seconds behind 2012 Canadian Olympic triathlete Kyle Jones.

The sprint-distance triathlon was comprised of a 750-meter swim, 20-kilometer bike and 5-kilometer run. Not surprisingly, Webb had the fastest run time of the day at 14:20, which was four seconds faster than Jones. In fact, Webb was also four seconds faster than Jones on the bike and only one second slower on the swim.

Perhaps showing his inexperience in the sport, Webb lost out in the two transitions where he was four and five seconds slower than Jones.

"One of the exciting things about Alan is probably what we don’t know," Webb's coach, Jonathan Hall, told the USOC. "He’s already competing at a high level, and there’s a huge margin for the unknown and improvement."

After a stellar high school career -- including setting the U.S. prep mile record of 3:53.43 in 2001 -- Webb had wildly fluctuating results during the rest of his time as an elite runner. Highs included winning the 2004 Olympic Trials 1500-meter final and setting the American mile record of 3:46.91 in 2007. He is also one of two men in history to run under 1:44 for 800 meters and 27:40 for 10,000 meters.

But Webb was erratic and often injured as a pro. In the last part of his career, he had four coaches within a span of a few years. He failed to advance from his 5000-meter qualifying heat at the 2012 Olympic Trials. In recent years he often ran slower than when he was in high school, and the frustration was palpable.

At Hall's urging, Webb watched a sprint triathlon last fall and decided it was time for a change.

"I wanted to see growth in myself again," Webb told the USOC. "I finally got to the point where I was comfortable saying that I had given everything I had as a professional track athlete."

Webb told the USOC that he's taking his progression in his new sport as it comes, but said about being on the 2016 Olympic team that "I’d be lying if I didn’t say that was my goal."


  1. Endurance sports - Olympic marathon trials field swells as qualifying deadline passes

    Peter Gambaccini, Runner's World

    Several runners earned U.S. marathon trials qualifying times in the closing days of the qualifying window, while others like Luke Puskedra were busy honing their form ahead of the Feb. 13 race.

    Story | Conversation | January 19, 2016
  2. Endurance sports - Ellen Hart continuing elite athletic career and fight against eating disorders

    Doug Williams, Special to

    Ellen Hart was an Olympic-level runner in the 1980s. Now, she's spreading the fight against eating disorders even more widely thanks to five age-division world endurance titles in 50 days.

    Story | Conversation | January 15, 2016
  3. French triathlete Laurent Vidal, 31, dies of heart attack

    Associated Press

    Laurent Vidal, a French triathlete who finished fifth at the 2012 Olympics in London, has died of a heart attack. He was 31.

    Story | Conversation | November 10, 2015
  4. French athlete Laurent Vidal dies of heart attack aged 31

    PA Sport

    French triathlete Laurent Vidal has died of a heart attack at the age of 31, the International Triathlon Union has confirmed.

    Story | Conversation | November 10, 2015
  5. Team GB's Alistair and Jonny Brownlee have been preselected for Rio 2016 Olympics

    PA Sport

    Alistair and Jonny Brownlee have both been pre-selected for next year's Rio Olympics despite failing to meet British Triathlon's automatic qualification criteria.

    Story | Conversation | November 05, 2015