IAAF rules Kamloop’s Justin Rodhe ineligible for World Indoor Championships

athletics canada

Ottawa (ISN) – The International Association of Athletics Federations (IAAF) has ruled Justin Rodhe of Kamloops, B.C., ineligible for the upcoming World Indoor Championships in Istanbul, Turkey.

Rodhe, who has been living and training in Canada for close to four years and is married to Canadian hammer thrower Megan Rodhe, acquired his Canadian Citizenship on November 1, 2011. According to IAAF rule 5.2, Rodhe would be eligible to represent Canada in international competition as of October 31, 2013.

Justin is obviously disappointed at this turn of events having worked diligently in following all of the appropriate processes. “This is an unfortunate event as my coach (Dr. Bondarchuk) and I have worked very hard to prepare for my first international championship. Istanbul was not a competition for me to simply gain experience; I was prepared for a great result. I am starved for opportunities to test myself against the world. I look forward to future opportunities to represent Canada.”

Athletics Canada submitted a written request to the IAAF on January 24, 2012 to notify that Justin Rodhe was now in fact a Canadian Citizen and that his performances in the IAAF statistics should be recognized as such. Yesterday Athletics Canada received word that this request was turned down.

“First and foremost Athletics Canada feels terrible for Justin, he’s done all the right things and followed all of the appropriate processes since his move to Canada in 2008. We’ve supported him through the whole process and thought the battle was won once he finally received full Canadian Citizenship on November 1, 2011,” said Rob Guy, CEO. “The IAAF instituted a new rule (2-year waiting period) to stop countries who were outright buying athletes from others. Unfortunately in this instance the rule is punishing an athlete, and a country, who has never engaged in this practice.”

Guy adds, “Athletics Canada will fight with everything we have to ensure that the two-year waiting period is waived by the IAAF and that Justin can set his mind at ease and earn a spot on the London 2012 Olympic team.”

IAAF rule 5.2

An athlete who has never competed in an International Competition shall be eligible to represent a Member in an International Competition if he:

(a) is a Citizen of the Country and has been a Citizen for the two year period immediately preceding the International Competition in question; or

(b) is a Citizen of the Territory and has completed two continuous years of Residence in the Territory immediately preceding the International Competition in question.

The period of two years in either case may exceptionally be reduced or cancelled by the Council. An application for a reduction or cancellation of the two-year period must be submitted by the relevant Member in writing to the IAAF Office at least 30 days before the International Competition in question.

Christian J. Stewart
Christian is a professional photographer and media professional based in Victoria, British Columbia, Canada. Currently working as the Assistant General Manager for Victoria HarbourCats Baseball Club, a Senior Contributing Editor and photographer at Independent Sports News (ISN) and operating his own freelance photography and media/pr company.