Special report: Dieter Massin double-dips, violates WMA rules
Dieter Massin, the German president of the Eurovets, is openly defying newly approved rules in World Masters Athletics while sitting on the WMA Council. Not good. Conflicts of interest have always been banned by WMA, but previous presidents have flouted the group’s Constitution by joining the board of the International Masters Games Association — which runs the World Masters Games. As founder and president of the European Masters Sports Association and organizer of the first European Masters Games (2008 in Malmo, Sweden), Dieter has been skating on thin ice for years. But now he’s gone whole-hog. In August, the General Assembly of WMA approved Motion 4 of the “bye-laws” — toughening anti-conflict laws with this provision: “Council members may not hold organizational positions with organizations that promote events not sanctioned by WMA.”
On Monday, I sent email to Dieter and other top WMA officials noting that his federation, the EVAA, is promoting the 2011 European Masters Games in Italy — apparently not sanctioned by World Masters Athletics — on its events calendar.
I asked Dieter these questions:
- 1. Do you still hold office in EMSA?
- 2. Are you involved in organizing the 2011 EMG?
- 3. Has WMA sanctioned the 2011 EMG, or does it plan to vote on this eventually?
- 4. If you have an EMSA or EMG involvement, will you step down from the WMA Council as stipulated in Motion 4?
His reply? Nothing, nada, zippo.
He’s apparently decided to ride out any bad publicity since his patron, WMA President Stan Perkins, isn’t likely to do anything. Stan himself has a masters games background. He helped organize the Pan Pacific Masters Games and was a principal of Gold Coast Events Management until 2002.
In March 2003, masters publisher Russ Haines said this about Stan, his fellow Aussie:
We have an unusual situation in our AMA president (Perkins) being manager of one the biggest Games held in Australia and also charged with the responsibility to promote the national championships. As I said, the interstate athlete has to choose. To me this is a conflict of interest that wouldn’t be allowed in public companies or in politics. To be fair to Stan, I have never seen him use his position to promote the old Asia Pacific Games. But, on the other hand, we are not going ahead in over-age athletcs and the Games seem to be winning.
So Stan isn’t likely to discipline the man who helped get him elected president (by a single vote) last August.
So why should anyone care about this?
Conflict-of-interest rules exist for a reason — to assure that the leadership of WMA is laser-focused on its mission of putting on the best possible world and regional championships. Being on the WMA Council (as an area rep), Dieter should not have competing interests. And trust me, the 2011 European Masters Games in Italy are a concern.
Even though the 2011 EMG will be held in mid-September — two months after Sacramento worlds — the event represents a potential drag on turnout for WMA’s flagship meet.
So it’s up to someone else in WMA to call Dieter to account.
He has a simple choice: Separate himself from the masters games or quit the council.
Dieter can’t have it both ways. And neither should masters athletes abide this.