Published in the International Journal of the History of Sport

By Dr Jorg Krieger

Studies on the development of Olympic Solidarity as a tool of the International Olympic Committee (IOC) to enable National Olympic Committees of developing countries access to resources and influence in the Olympic Movement exist. However, historical scholarship has relatively neglected the development of aid programs by International Federations to explain how they made use of resources to gain influence in international sport politics. Based on extensive multi-national and multi-lingual archival research in the archives of the International Association of Athletics Federation (IAAF) and the German Sport University Cologne, this article explores the establishment and development of the IAAF‘s Technical Aid Program, which had been installed in 1974. Referencing a large amount of previously unknown protocols and written correspondence, the paper critically discusses the IAAF‘s development activities in light of two parallel occurring processes that shaped the federation’s character in the 1970s and 1980s decisively: its increasing commercialization and its path towards democratization in its voting system. It is argued that the IAAF development programs served as a tool to enforce commercial and sport political interests whilst the nature of support remained without clear guidance until the mid-1980s.