Almost exactly three years ago, international track federation president Lamine Diack of Senegal called out International Olympic Committee president Jacques Rogge for Rogge's willingness to let London pull the track out of its 2012 Olympic Stadium after the Games if that made best fiscal sense for the stadium's legacy use.
"I think this shows a lack of respect for my sport," Diack said then, adding, "A promise was made (to keep a track in place), and I believe it is totally reasonable to expect that the most important sport of the summer Olympics, which is athletics, gets to live on after the three-week period of the Games is over."
Friday, we will see if Diack and his IAAF, in a manner of speaking, put their money where his mouth was in that hissing match by selecting London as host of the 2017 World Track & Field Championships.
Or if they are the latest international sports body to think, in a manner of speaking, of how they might enrich their sport by buying into the ludicrous notion that gas-rich Doha, Qatar is the place to have such championships - despite its weather, lack of population to support the event, political animus toward Israel and cultural restrictions on women and homosexuals.
By selecting Doha, the IAAF's grand pooh-bahs would undermine a lengthy effort by British Olympic officials and politicians that has produced a guarantee to keep a track in the Olympic Stadium, which seemed doubtful only a few months ago.
I mean, why have a track in the Olympic Stadium of the country with a long and deep track tradition if the sport's global leaders would rather have the biggest event under their control in a place that almost certainly will never care about track and field?
I made essentially the same points in a Sept. 8 column, but they are worth repeating now because a few things have changed since then.
The biggest changes involve the future of the Olympic Stadium track in London and the support of Britain's government for the world championships.
Two months ago, both were uncertain.
*British Prime Minister David Cameron has pledged his backing for the world track bid.
*And the Byzantine, cloak-and-dagger negotiations over which soccer team, West Ham or Tottenham, might become the stadium's primary post-Olympic tenant have led to a situation where it appears a) neither will or b) it will be West Ham, which has agreed to keep the track.
The soccer scenarios turned into opera buffa Tuesday when police arrested a man on suspicion of having spied on the Olympic Park Legacy Company at Tottenham's instigation, which the soccer club immediately denied.
Overriding all that nonsense is a stipulation to any future tenant that its activity will be superseded by any major track and field event.
While "major" was not defined, the world championships certainly would qualify. In number of participants, it is the world's third largest sporting event, after the Olympics and soccer World Cup.
There are rumblings now that the IAAF suddenly will endorse a Solomonic solution and award two world championships Friday, one for 2017 and the other for 2019, no matter that no such plan had been announced. It is conceivable, after all, that another city also might have been interested in 2019 had it been known that meet also was in play this week.
The U.S., which never has had the track worlds, rarely bids because of IAAF requirements to absorb the cost of providing the global TV signal, estimated to cost $5 million when I last wrote about the U.S. disinterest five years ago. Staging the event costs upwards of $20 million, and U.S. cities cannot count on government funding to balance the budget -- even in good economic times -- the way cities in other countries can.
Anything but 2017 would be problematic for London, the Daily Telegraph newspaper reports, because its guarantees from the government cover only that project.
I still contend that Doha is not fit to have the event, especially during the proposed September dates, when the temperature is likely to top 100 degrees most days. And Tuesday the Associated Press reported that an architect involved in Doha's plans to air condition entire stadiums for the 2022 soccer World Cup said that idea is too expensive and "notoriously unsustainable" for the environment.
Plus, call me old fashioned, but I believe that ideals should stand for something.
Track and field is among the world's most democratic and inclusive sports -- after all, anyone can run from Point A to Point B. Qatar has NEVER had a woman on its Olympic teams. (The IOC should have banned the country from the Olympics long ago for violating the Olympic Charter provisions on gender discrimination.)
But world sporting bodies can't get enough of Qatar and its money-is-no-object lure, which only underscores the lack of an ethical backbone in most world sports leaders.
No global sporting event should be in Doha, not in 2017 or 2022, not in summer, winter, spring or fall, not until its leaders turn over a new cultural leaf.
The 2017 World Track & Field Championships belong in London.Copyright © 2015, Los Angeles Times