In 1985, the IAAF launched the IAAF Grand Prix - linking the best outdoor invitational track and field meetings in a circuit, culminating with a Grand Prix Final at the end of the season. It followed on from the IAAF Golden Events (1978–82), where the IAAF helped finance meetings between the world's top athletes to encourage seasonal engagement with the sport outside of the Olympic cycle. The creation of the IAAF Grand Prix circuit came two years after the first World Championships in Athletics in 1983.


The 1985 IAAF/Mobil Grand Prix, a series of 16 international meetings in 13 countries, started with the Bruce Jenner Bud-Light Classic at San Jose, California on 25 May 1985.  Points were awarded for 1st to 8th in the Grand Prix events with 9 for 1st, 7 for 2nd, down to 1 for 8th. The points counted towards qualification for the Grand Prix Final where extra points could be accunulated to give an overall Grand Prix winner as well as individual event winners. 


In 1993, the IAAF Council reviewed the development of the Grand Prix and Permit meetings, and proposed the creation of a two tier Grand Prix System including a maximum of 24 meetings which would enable a greater number of meetings to benefit from the marketing and sponsorship opportunities resulting from being part of the Grand Prix. Thus, the Grand Prix II was created.


Until 1992, total points determined the winner of the series. From 1993, points still determined the overall winners but the event winners were based on the result of the final itself.


 Year Men's winner Women's winner
 1985 Doug Padilla (USA) - 5000m Mary Slaney (USA) - 3000m
 1986 Said Aouita (MAR) - 5000m Yordanka Donkova (BUL) - 100mH
 1987 Tonie Campbell (USA) - 110mH Merlene Ottey (JAM) - 100m
 1988 Said Aouita (MAR) - 1 mile Paula Ivan (ROU) - 1500m
 1989 Said Aouita (MAR) - 5000m Paula Ivan (ROU) - 1 mile
 1990 Leroy Burrell (USA) - 100m Merlene Ottey (JAM) - 200m
 1991 Sergey Bubka (URS) - PV Heike Henkel (GER) - HJ
 1992 Kevin Young (USA) - 400mH Heike Drechsler (GER) - LJ
 1993 Sergey Bubka (UKR) - PV Sandra Farmer-Patrick (USA) - 400mH
 1994 Noureddine Morceli (ALG) - 1500m Jackie Joyner-Kerser (USA) - LJ
 1995 Moses Kiptanui (KEN) - 3000mSC Maria Mutola (MOZ) - 800m
 1996 Daniel Komen (KEN) - 5000m Ludmila Engquist (SWE) - 100mH
 1997 Wilson Kipketer (DEN) - 800m Astrid Kumbernuss (GER) - SP
 1998 Hicham El Guerrouj (MAR) - 1500m Marion Jones (USA) - 100m
 1999 Bernard Barmasai (KEN) - 3000mSC Gabriela Szabo (ROU) - 3000m
 2000 Angelo Taylor (USA) - 400mH Trine Hattestad (NOR) - JT
 2001 Andre Bucher (SUI) - 800m Violeta Szekely (ROU) - 1500m
 2002 Hicham El Guerrouj (MAR) - 1500m Gail Devers (USA) - 100mH


As well as the overall winners, there were standings and awards for the individual events within the Grand Prix circuit. The events were mainly included on a repeating 2-yearly cycle. The individual standings were determinedby points from 1985-1992 and by position in the Grand Prix final from 1993 to 2002.


The positions of Scottish athletes in these standings between 1985 and 1992 were as follows:

 Athlete Year Event Position Time
 Tom McKean  1988 800m 1st 48 pts
 Liz McColgan  1988 5000m 1st 51 pts
 Liz Lynch  1987 3000m 3rd 27 pts
 Yvonne Murray  1989 3000m 3rd 34 pts
 Tom McKean  1992 800m 4th 42 pts
 Yvonne Murray  1989 1 mile 5th 18 pts
 Liz Lynch  1987 1 mile 6th 19 pts
 Yvonne Murray  1987 1 mile 7th 19 pts
 Liz McColgan  1992 5000m 7th 20 pts
 Geoff Parsons  1986 HJ 8th 31 pts
 Yvonne Murray  1990 5000m 8th 16 pts


The points accumulated at Grand Prix events during the season qualified athletes for the Grand Prix Final. 

The venues of the finals were: 1985-86 Rome (ITA), 1987 Brussels (BEL), 1988 Berlin (FRG), 1989 Monte Carlo (MON), 1990 Athens (GRE), 1991 Barcelona (ESP), 1992 Turin (ITA), 1993 London (GBR), 1994 Paris (FRA), 1995 Monte Carlo (MON), 1996 Milan (ITA), 1997 Fukuoka (JPN), 1998 Moscow (RUS), 1999 Munich (GER), 2000 Doha (QAT), 2001 Melbourne (AUS), 2002 Paris (FRA). 

Scottish athletes who competed in the finals were as follows:

 Athlete Year Event Position Perf.
 Geoff Parsons  1986 HJ 4th 2.25
 Yvonne Murray  1986 1500m 10th 4:08.05
 Yvonne Murray  1987 1 mile 6th 4:30.01
 Liz Lynch  1987 3000m 3rd 8:42.93
 Tom McKean  1988 800m 1st 1:47.60
 Tom Hanlon  1988 3000mSC 7th 8:29.12
 Liz McColgan  1988 5000m 1st 15:03.29
 Yvonne Murray  1989 3000m 1st 9:02.58
 Karen Hutcheson  1989 3000m 6th 9:09.67
 Tom Hanlon  1991 3000mSC 10th 8:38.43
 Tom McKean  1992 800m 3rd 1:46.06
 Tom Hanlon  1993 3000mSC 9th 9:14.30
 Yvonne Murray  1993 3000m 2nd 8:41.99
  No Scottish athletes appeared in IAAF Grand Prix finals 1994-2002



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