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Here is why the USATF reopened the bids for the U.S. 2020 Olympic Trials

USA Track & Field didn’t learn about lawsuits that jeopardized the 2020 Olympic Trials until two months after its board awarded the meet to Mt. San Antonio College in June 2017, newly revealed documents show. But by late October 2017, USATF was threatening to pull the showcase event from Mt. SAC — six months before it shocked the track world by reopening bids for the meet.  Adam Schmenk, USATF’s managing director of events and entertainment properties, on Oct. 27 demanded that Mt. SAC provide a construction timeline and a guarantee that Hilmer Lodge Stadium would be built no later than April 2020. “Should you be unable to provide the above assurance by November 17, we will reopen the bid process to secure a host city who can provide the commitments necessary to host a successful Olympic Trials,” Schmenk wrote Doug Todd, Mt. SAC’s athletic special events director. Two months later, USATF Deputy General Counsel Donald Woodard doubled down in a letter to Mt. SAC’s president. “We, and our major partners, are extremely concerned about whether the construction of the appropriate facilities will be complete in sufficient time to host a first class high caliber 2020 Trials,” Woodard wrote William Scroggins. “Therefore, we require unequivocal proof that the lawsuits have been dismissed or otherwise resolved in such a manner as to remove any doubt that construction of the stadium and other facilities will not be delayed in any way whatsoever,” he said Jan. 3, demanding a Jan. 4 conference call. Woodard said that at an August 2017 campus meeting, “we were made aware of the existence of two lawsuits filed against Mt. SAC directly or indirectly related to Mt. SAC’s preparation and ability to successfully host a first class 2020 Trials.” (05/13/2018) ⚡AMP
by Ken Stone

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