In early September, the International Association of Athletics Federations came up with an innovative new camera angle for the start of sprints.
With two small camera stationed on the starting block, the IAAF wanted to capture the focused look on runners' faces. However, in practice the two miniature cameras ultimately gave a lot of looks up the legs of scantily-clad athletes.
German sprinters Gina Lückenkemper and Tatjana Pinto were among the first to call out the camera usage, especially considering the athletes were not consulted about the new viewer experience. The “block cams” even earned the nickname “crotch camera” instead from the Associated Press’ Rob Harris.
Have you seen the “crotch cameras” on starting blocks at #WorldAthleticsChampionships?— Rob Harris (@RobHarris) October 2, 2019
Some athletes found the innovation too intrusive, so the angles have been adjusted by the IAAF after complaints.
From Doha:https://t.co/rXHKV4FD54 pic.twitter.com/7o2TEGsEmT
“I as a woman find that quite stupid,” Lückenkemper said in a statement released by her spokesman, via CNN. “And I have said I would doubt that a woman was part of the development of that.”
After the swift outrage, the IAAF agreed to amend its usage of the controversial camera angle. As the BBC reported, the world championships will now only use close-up shots of athletes’ faces before the race begins with footage required to be deleted every day.
“We have noted some specific feedback about the block cameras and we have confirmed we have appropriate measures in place to protect athlete privacy during the process of selecting images for broadcast,” the IAAF said in a statement. “We also have strict editorial guidelines for what is broadcast and these have been observed since the beginning of the championships.”
The invasive cameras are far from the first aspects of the world championships at Doha to go wrong. Temperatures as high as 107 degrees left only 41 percent of marathon competitors able to finish their race, and the crowds have been almost entirely empty. But this new camera fiasco has been a completely unforced error on the IAAF’s part.
More from Yahoo Sports: