Britain’s Sebastian Coe was elected as new International Association of Athletics Federation (IAAF) president at the 50th IAAF Congress here on Wednesday….reports Asian Lite News
Coe, a former Conservative Party lawmaker and a member of the House of Lords, a two-time Olympic 1,500-meter champion and chief organiser of the 2012 London Olympics, beat Ukrainian pole vault great Sergei Bubka and won the vote 115-92 in the IAAF election held on the eve of the world championships in Beijing, reported Xinhua.
Former president Lamine Diack, who has been at the helm for 16 years, left with the track and field’s international governing body under criticism after media allegations that he failed to act on evidence of widespread blood doping.
While both candidates called for an overhaul of the way the anti-doping programme is run, Coe was more forceful against critics by describing the accusations as a “declaration of war”.
Britain’s The Sunday Times newspaper reported earlier in August that one-third of medals in endurance races at the Olympics and world championships were won by athletes who have recorded suspicious blood readings.
Meanwhile, double-Olympic champion Mo Farah said Coe would “change athletics.”
Coe has pledged to increase resources in the “battle for the sport’s integrity” and has vowed to set up an independent anti-doping agency for athletics.
Farah, 32, said: “What Lord Coe did for London 2012 was incredible. I don’t want to see anything bad in athletics because it’s the sport that I do every day and the sport that I love.”
Outgoing IAAF president Diack says he is confident about the future as the sport prepares to elect his replacement. The 82-year-old Senegalese has run the governing body for 16 years.
He said at the opening day of the 99th IAAF Council on Monday, “I have laid the foundations for the future of the IAAF with our two great champions. Whoever the athletics family elects he will be a bona fide son of our sport. I am all the more confident of what we have in store.”