The secret meeting of Belgium’s athletics bosses

The time and venue of a meeting of Belgium’s top athletics officials, announced for Wednesday, are being kept secret, according to the national Olympics committee, COIB.

This is to make sure that “it can be held as calmly as possible to find a solution without pressure and put all the chances on our side,” COIB communications officer Luc Rampaer told Belga news agency on Tuesday.

The meeting is seen as an opportunity to bring the different regional and national athletics bodies together around the same table. It will involve national athletics coach Jacques Borlée, regional and federal athletics leagues, sports administrations and the COIB.

On 7 March, the Francophone Athletics League, LBFA, wrote in a letter that it “was no longer possible to work with Mr. Jacques Borlée as coach or trainer of the federation.” The letter was in reaction to statements by the coach in the controversy surrounding an agreement that the national athletics league, the LRBA, wanted athletes to sign before the European indoor athletics championships in Glasgow.

Borlée – father of Kevin and Dylan Borlée, members of Belgium’s high-performing 4 x 400m relay team and Olivia Borlée, 2008 Olympic champion with the women’s 4x100m relay team in Beijing – had reacted almost immediately.

Given the key championships ahead, “it seems urgent to me to reflect on a more harmonious framework than exists today,” he wrote, while stressing that he wished to maintain “the reserve that the situation justifies”.

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