MONACO, Feb 6 (Reuters) - The governing body of world athletics (IAAF) has put a freeze on changes of nationality by athletes, saying the system has become open to abuse and that rules are being manipulated.
IAAF president Sebastian Coe said a working group would be set up to agree new rules by the end of the year. "It has become abundantly clear that with regular multiple transfers of allegiance, especially from Africa, the present rules are no longer fit for purpose," Coe told reporters on Monday.
The decision will not affect the 15 applications for transfer which are already in process, the IAAF said.
"Athletics has to be based on national teams and is particularly vulnerable," Coe added.
"The rules do not provide protection necessary for individual athletes, they are open to abuse. Many federations regularly receive reports of athletes who are available for trade."
(Reporting by Brian Homewood, editing by Ed Osmond)