Athletics’ big thinker looks to rugby and cricket for inspiration

US 2004 Olympic shot put champion Adam Nelson is one of the sport’s great thinkers, and the vice president of the Track & Field Athletes Association. He believes the sport needs major structural reform.

“The problem with change is it usually means someone has to give up something – privacy, marketing rights, comfort – in order for the change to take place.  Allowing the media and fans greater access to the athletes during warm-up or in the call room requires the athletes to change the way they prepare.

"Opening the rules on athlete sponsorship requires a change in the dynamic between sponsors, agents, and athletes. New advances in drug testing are often accompanied by massive invasions of privacy. Changes to competitive rules usually require some acclimation. It doesn’t matter what you change, someone’s going to get frustrated with it.

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