IAAF calls back controversial Block Cams after female athletes protest against intimate close-ups

IAAF calls back controversial Block Cams after female athletes protest against intimate close-ups
(Getty Images)

The International Association of Athletics Federations (IAAF), on Monday, agreed to stop using its new 'Bloc Cams' after two female German athletes complained about the close-up camera shots of sprinters settling into their starting blocks. Block Cams were being used as a new technology by the IAAF to better enhance the viewers' experience for the world championships in Doha, Qatar.

The German sprinters, Tatjana Pinto and Gina Luckenkemper -- both knocked out in the 100m semi-finals -- however, raised concerns over the technology's use, saying they had not been consulted about the cameras which were installed in the blocks for their 100m races. The athletes, who brought up their complaint to the IAAF, said that they found the technology to be "very questionable."

Lise Marie Kwayie, Gina Lueckenkemper, Tatjana Pinto and Rebekka Haase of Germany celebrate after winning the bronze medal in the Women's 4x100 metres relay final during day six of the 24th European Athletics Championships at Olympiastadion. (Getty Images)


Luckenkemper, while speaking about the incident, said that she felt "really not comfortable" standing over the cameras while wearing a pair of running shorts. The sprinter, in a statement released by a spokesperson, said: "I, as a woman, find that quite stupid. I would doubt that a woman was part of the development of [the cameras]," according to BBC

Soon after the female athletes raised objections to the intimate close-up shots, another prominent German sportswoman, Amélie Ebert, supported the runners, saying: "I was a synchronized swimmer, in a tight costume, often with just my legs above water," she told the German daily Rheinische Post. "I often wondered why we athletes had no right to be consulted over which pictures would be used."

The IAAF had announced the introduction of "trailblazing technology" for the Doha World Athletics Championships, on September 9, including "new cameras that will provide innovative angles on the competition", to bring viewers "closer to the action than ever before."


The sports federation reportedly installed two miniature cameras into each starting block for the 100-meter flat and hurdles races.

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 IAAF censor controvesial block cams after female athletes protest against intimate close-ups