Time for WMA to stop coddling Torsten Carlius

Torsten Carlius is crossing the line — again. He wants to double-dip in WMA (holding two offices at the same time) while serving on the board that oversees the competing World Masters Games. Sweden’s Carlius has been president of World Masters Athletics (formerly WAVA) for eight years, and in late August will be succeeded either by former WAVA President Cesare Beccalli of Italy or WMA Oceania delegate Stan Perkins of Australia after a vote of the General Assembly in San Sebastian.

But Dracula doesn’t die, and neither does Count Carlius.
As outgoing president, Carlius can remain on the WMA Council for another term. He would hold the “past president” officer position. But Carlius, shockingly, is a candidate for WMA secretary at San Sebastian. He would hold both posts at the same time — a clear violation of section 6c in the WMA Constitution: “No officer shall hold more than one office at any one time.”
I’ve been told that “he got a Swedish lawyer to declare that he can resign being the past president.”
And his mother was a virgin.
Fortunately, Carlius is not uncontested for the secretary post. Brian Oxley of Canada also is running for secretary. Oxley, who helped organize the first World Masters Championships in Toronto 30 years ago, has a handicap, however. He’s not European — where most of the delegates come from.
Carlius has acquired a reputation for dictating policy in the WMA Council — while ignoring WMA rules by joining the Board of Governors of the International Masters Games Association — which in 2005 and in 2009 will put on a competing World Masters Games, an event that dilutes the quality of both competitions.
This conflict of interest is egregious and sad. It means we have a “leader” who takes money from IMGA to act in that group’s best interests while simultaneously attempting to act in WMA’s best interests. Trust me, the interests do not coincide.
Worse, word has leaked that Carlius expects to see WMA fold in the next decade.
According to one source, Carlius has been overheard telling people “that WMA will not exist in eight years.” Another source has him predicting the collapse within 10 years. Whatever he’s saying, it’s clearly counter to WMA interests — and yours.
All this is against the backdrop of a WMA resolution from Puerto Rico — passed with no dissenting votes and six abstentions in the General Assembly — that WMA should begin negotiating with IMGA to have it change its World Masters Games back to even-numbered years. We’ve seen no evidence of Carlius carrying water for WMA. More likely, he’s selling out WMA.
Further, Carlius is reported to have slipped in a Malaysian nomination for VP-Non Stadia at the very last minute — a fellow named Khoo Chong Beng, who I’ve been told is not even a member of the official Malaysian affiliate. (He’s an IAAF racewalking judge and former star walker.)
Toward what end, we can only guess. (Maybe Khoo wants to cash in on the timing market for WMA road races — since he works for ChampionChip.)
It appears that South Africa’s Monty Hacker, the outgoing WMA secretary, has assented to this bullpucky. Hacker could have refused to accept Carlius’ nomination. But didn’t. Why?
Carlius is gaming the masters movement. Even his travels on WMA’s dime have been questioned. (One source says Carlius goes to Asia to visit a lady friend.) His iron-fisted control of the WMA Web site — which frequently features a photo of himself in some important ceremony — has included the spiking of its public Forum section. He brooks no dissent. The questions continue to mount.
But the biggest question for me to ask is terribly sad:
Does anybody care?

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July 21, 2005

4 Responses

  1. Jess H. Brewer - July 21, 2005

    Well, if our intrepid investigative journalist has the facts straight, it raises a deep question: what sort of person would think of “President of WMA” as a position of power and prestige to be exploited for ego fulfillment or financial gain? It’s like becoming a cop to beat people up: the effort would be better spent tying flies for trout fishing. But the world seems to be full of petty bureaucrats revelling in their infinitesimal clout, so I guess I should not be surprised.

  2. Suzy Hess & Jerry Wojcik - July 21, 2005

    We’re always in favor of new blood for any organization and Stan Perkins and Brian Oxley have terrific backgrounds for these positions. Let’s hope they can buck the European Block.

  3. Carlos - July 21, 2005

    8 years of Torsten presidency were not going on to the history for the best for the interest of the athletic masters.
    In his mandate worrying situations have taken place since they have been the retreat of the Campionshiips to Malasia, the grant of the candidacy of San Sebasti?°n with many irregularities, the enclosed decrease with danger of disappearance of the Campionship of route,the truth the better thing that the gentlemmman Torsten can do is to leave the Council WMA

  4. Quick Silver - July 21, 2005

    I’m glad to see that Khoo Chong Beng is prepared to stand for non-stadia VP. It’s a job that needs attention with the demise of the non-stadia championships, and Khoo would be a good man to try and find a way forward.
    Khoo has the Champion Chip franchise for Malaysia only. He does not work for Champion Chip and would not be in a position to profit from the VP position unless WMA organized some events in Malaysia.
    I don’t know who’s standing against him, but I would suggest giving him a chance in the non-stadia job at this rather crucial moment.
    By implication, I guess I’m praising Torsten for being able to recruit some new blood to attack this difficult problem.
    Quick Silver
    Hong Kong

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