Golden League looks for expansion

Monte Carlo  - The Golden League athletics series is to be doubled from six to 12 meets from 2010 onwards, a top official of the ruling body IAAF said on Sunday.

IAAF vice-president Helmut Digel of Germany said that sponsors have signalled interest despite the worldwide recession which would allow the series to move outside Europe into new markets.

Digel said that the expansion was necessary due to lower television interest in Europe in the past years.

The current Golden League hosts are Berlin, Brussels, Oslo, Paris, Rome and Zurich with athletes winning their event at all six stops eligible for a jackpot of 1 million dollars.

London, Lausanne and Stockholm have been mentioned as possible European additions with Shanghai, a venue in Qatar, and possible in US stop in Eugene named by Digel.

"The main problem is TV. If the quality gets better it can't overlook us," said Digel, who said that around 30 million euros needed to be spent for the expansion. (dpa)