COVID-19: 193 athletes offered grants from Athlete Welfare Fund

World Athletics and the International Athletics Foundation (IAF) have announced that 193 athletes from 58 member federations will be offered one-time grants of $3000 through an Athlete Welfare Fund announced in April to help support professional athletes experiencing financial hardship due to the coronavirus pandemic.

World Athletics disclosed that the IAF had received 261 eligible applications by the May 31 deadline.

To be eligible athletes had to be qualified for selection for the Tokyo Olympics (by entry standard), had to be able to demonstrate a justifiable welfare need through significant loss of income in 2020 compared to 2019, and must never have had an anti-doping violation, World Athletics said in a media release.

In addition, athletes ranked in the top six on the world rankings, those who finished in the top six in any Gold Label Road race in 2019, and those who earned more than $6000 in prize money from the 2019 Diamond League, were not eligible to apply in order to help focus support to those most in need.

World Athletics President Sebastian Coe said: “My thanks to all the working group members for their input throughout this process over the last two months, and since they all agreed to be part of this working group at the end of April when we announced the fund.”

“Their contributions, particularly at the outset to shape the criteria and fund focus, has meant we’ll be able to get money quickly to those athletes most in need through a robust but simple process, which is what Hicham El Guerrouj and I hoped when we first discussed the idea in late April. A final thanks to Hicham for the initial concept and his personal generous contribution,” he added.