Logan Promotes U.S.-Jamaica Clash

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Byline: Steve Nearman, THE WASHINGTON TIMES

USA Track & Field proposed last week that the world's two dominant sprinting powers - the United States and Jamaica - meet for face-to-face matchups.

That's positive news for the sport's governing body, with chief executive Doug Logan working hard to clean up the sport's drug-tarnished image, make the organization more functional, and produce an exciting product for track enthusiasts.

Right out of the gate last year, Logan went on a verbal marathon about his dislike of performance-enhancing drugs and its users. He went on to tackle USATF's bloated and fractious board of directors, reducing the number from 31 to 15.

One of those new board members is former Olympian Steve Holman, who won two national championships in the 1,500 meters at Georgetown.

Logan forced USATF to consider its image. Calling it the Project 30 Task Force (the goal of 30 clean medals in the 2012 London Olympics), USATF last month issued a 69-page report after analyzing Team USA's performance in Beijing. It charted a course for programmatic change to maximize Team USA's performance in Olympic and world championship competition.

One of the key findings: Overall, there is a lack of accountability, professionalism and cohesion in the areas the task force studied. No surprise there.

In an effort to stimulate the sport, Logan on Saturday invited Jamaica to engage in a home-and-home series this year. The event will pit the two nations' sprinters and hurdlers against each other in head-to-head, team-scored competition.

His invitation came five days after the International Association of Athletic Federations announced that two of America's most prestigious meets - the Nike Prefontaine Classic in Eugene, Ore., and the Reebok Grand Prix in New York - will be part of a new circuit of elite track meets known as the IAAF Diamond League starting in 2010. …