Jamaica's Usain Bolt celebrates after winning the final of the men's 200 metres athletics event at the 2015 IAAF World Championships at the "Bird's Nest" National Stadium in Beijing on August 27, 2015. AFP PHOTO / OLIVIER MORIN
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Athletics was struggling to compete for funding with money-spinning sports such as football and baseball even before the latest doping scandal; but that task has now grown much harder despite the booming popularity of amateur running.Athletics takes center stage at the Olympics every four years but lacks a high-profile annual event and is a small fish in the pond for sponsorship and rights money dominated by the likes of football, baseball and basketball.A survey by the U.S. Track & Field Athletes Association showed that approximately 50 percent of athletes who rank in the top 10 in the United States make less than $15,000 annually from sponsorships, grant and prize money.Many athletes are forced to take full-time jobs or a variety of part-time work to continue their participation in athletics.The scandal in athletics may be more damaging than that enveloping football body FIFA, since it goes beyond illegal profiteering and touches on questions of the sport's legitimacy.
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