Sebastian Coe elected as new IAAF president

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Double Olympic champion, Sebastian Coe of Great Britain

Double Olympic champion, Sebastian Coe of Great Britain, has been elected as the new president of the Governing body for world athletics.  Coe takes over immediately as the former boss, Lamine Diack stepped down last month.

In the race for the IAAF presidency, Sebastian Coe got past Ukraine’s Sergey Bubka narrowly 115 votes to 92.

The election marked the organisation’s 50th Congress ahead of the World Championships in Beijing and means that Lord Coe will be in charge for an initial term of four years.

The now ex-President, Lamine Diack, held a reign that lasted for 16 years and there can be no arguments about the athletic pedigree for the new man in charge.

The 58-year-old won Olympic gold in the 1,500 metres at the 1980 in Soul and then in Los Angeles four years later.

Off the track he was a successful politician having been elected to parliament in the UK and part of the organising committee for London 2012.

IAAF
IAAF

All future plans aside, first job as IAAF president will be to deal with the recent allegations of widespread doping in the sport that has cast a shadow over the world championships which kick off on Saturday in Beijing.

Ahead of the world championships in Beijing and against a backdrop of doping allegations that have brought the sport to its knees, Coe defeated Ukrainian former pole vaulter Sergey Bubka and will now be tasked with restoring the reputation of the sport.

Thirty-four years to the day after he broke the world mile record in Zurich Coe won by 115 to 92 of the votes on offer to become president of the International Association of Athletic Federations and will now automatically also become a member of the IOC.

Afterwards Coe said that winning the IAAF presidency ranked above winning Olympic gold or delivering the London Olympics in terms of momentous moments in his life.

As part of his manifesto, he has promised more resources for anti-doping and an independent unit to avoid allegations of conflicts of interest. He has also promised to overhaul the athletics calendar, better promote the sport and make it more relevant to young people.

Coe, who becomes just the sixth president of the IAAF in its 103-year history, has also promised to deliver $200,000 in development funds to every member association across each four-year cycle.

But by far the biggest challenge he faces is to restore public confidence in the sport in light of the latest doping allegations.

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