Yohan Blake believes IAAF president Sebastian Coe is "killing" athletics by cutting back on Diamond League disciplines.

Sweeping changes announced in November saw the 200 metres, 3,000m steeplechase, discus and triple jump removed from the schedule for the upcoming season in a bid to accommodate a 90-minute broadcast window.

Former 100m world champion and 200m Olympic silver medallist Blake thinks the decision will do more harm than good to the sport.

"It has changed a lot, I am not going to lie. The times we are running have slowed down, track and field is dying a little," said Blake.

"If [Coe] can take away the 200 and triple jump, I don't know if he is trying to build or trying to kill athletics.

"But that's a stupid move he is making. He must enhance the sport, but he is killing it. It is just madness.

"This is people's careers and where they make money… You cannot do that. Everybody is hating him. We have to take a stand."

Christian Taylor, a seven-time Diamond League champion, has announced the formation of The Athletics Association, an association for all professional athletes from across the globe and has encouraged athletes worldwide to join and take back power from the IAAF.

There has been a significant backlash against the IAAF’s decision to cut eight events – four male and four female – from the Diamond League circuit for the upcoming season.

The IAAF has announced sweeping changes to the Diamond League schedule in a move intended to boost its value to broadcasters.

In plans revealed on Wednesday, the revised programme for men and women does not feature the 200 metres, 3,000m steeplechase, discus or triple jump on its list of Diamond League official disciplines.

The world governing body carried out research ahead of the 2020 season and said the alterations were made to accommodate a 90-minute broadcast window.

Despite the 200m being cited as one of the most popular disciplines, that sprint event and the steeplechase will each only feature in 10 of the 14 regular meetings on the calendar – five times for men and five times for women – and will not have Diamond League status or feature in the Diamond League Final.

IAAF Diamond League chairman Sebastian Coe said: "Our objective is to create a faster paced, more exciting global league that will be the showcase for our sport. A league that broadcasters want to show and fans want to watch.

"However, we understand the disappointment of those athletes in the disciplines not part of the 2020 Diamond League season.

"We want to thank the 10 Diamond League meetings which have found a way to include the 200 metres or the 3,000-metre steeplechase, male and female, during the 2020 season and the four meetings hosting a discus throw competition or a triple jump competition."

Noah Lyles, who has won the men's 200m in each of the last three seasons, tweeted his apparent dismay at the decision, posting an image of cartoon character Lisa Simpson appearing surprised along with the words: "Wow no 200m".

Zurich will host the Diamond League Final in 2020 and 2021 as the series switches to a single-day format.

The 1996 Olympic 100m champion Donovan Bailey believes fellow Canadian Andre DeGrasse will be under tremendous pressure to perform at the IAAF World Championships of Athletics in Doha later this month, but he expects him to deliver.

Finding the right approach at the right time helped propel Shanieka Ricketts to her first Diamond League win and with it the 2019 Diamond League triple-jump crown in Zurich on Thursday.

Shaunae Miller-Uibo and Shanieka Ricketts won diamonds in the 200m and triple jump respectively at the first of two Diamond League finals in Zurich on Thursday.

Zurich will host the Diamond League Final in 2020 and 2021 as the series switches to a single-day format.

Since being established in 2010, the Diamond League has staged dual finals in Zurich and Brussels.

However, Weltklasse Zurich will now host the lone showpiece for two straight years while the King Baudouin Stadium undergoes renovation.

From 2022 to 2024 the final is set to rotate annually, with all meetings invited to apply to serve as hosts.

The Diamond League board will select the 12 regular-season meetings for the 2020 season next month.

"Zurich has been the home of many of the most extraordinary moments in athletics over more than 90 years, including 25 world records, and we are delighted that it will host the pinnacle one-day meeting of 2020," IAAF president Sebastian Coe said in a statement.

"The Diamond League is vital to our future growth as it provides an annual showcase of the very best in athletics, which is why we must ensure that every contest broadcast to the world is of the highest standard.

"We expect the new Diamond League format to be even more thrilling for our global audience as it builds excitement throughout the outdoor season and reaches a crescendo in Zurich.”   

A total of 24 disciplines will run across the 12 meetings – 12 male and 12 female – with each meet staging six male and six female events before all are present at the Zurich final.

The winners at the Diamond League Final will earn automatic qualification to the IAAF World Championships.

After only two weeks with Rana Reider’s Tumbleweed Track Club, 2017 World Champion, Omar McLeod is confident he is back on track to defend his world title at the 2019 World Championships in Doha, Qatar.

After running a personal-best time and winning her first-ever Diamond League race in London on Sunday, newly minted Jamaican 400mH champion Rushell Clayton said getting that first win provided a major boost in confidence as she zeroes in on her first World Championships in Doha in September.

Lennox Graham, the coach of Danielle Williams has a simple plan to keep her running fast in her quest to win the Diamond League title this season.

Shelly-Ann Fraser-Pryce has confirmed that she will be doing the sprint double at the IAAF World Championships of Athletics in Doha from September 28 to October 6.

Danielle Williams set a new national record while winning the 100m hurdles at the Diamond League meeting in London on Saturday.

Maurice Wilson, head coach of the Sprintec Track Club, has come out against the proposed method for selecting Jamaica’s female sprint hurdlers for the team to compete at the IAAF World Championships in September.

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