Wednesday, January 28, 2015 6:09 pm
Ukrainian pole vault legend Sergei Bubka will challenge Britain’s Sebastian Coe for the presidency of the International Association of Athletics Federations (IAAF), he confirmed on Wednesday.
The two men are the only candidates so for to succeed Lamine Diack, who is due to step down in August.
Bubka, 51, said: “I am seeking the IAAF presidency to give something back to the world of athletics which has given so many opportunities to me throughout my life.”
An IAAF council member since 2001 and vice-president since 2007, Bubka set 35 world pole vault records in a glittering career which brought him an Olympic gold in the colours of the Soviet Union in 1988 and six consecutive world championships from 1983 to 1997, three of them for Ukraine.
“I wish to build upon the progress achieved by the IAAF under the leadership of its president (Lamine Diack),” he added, “to ensure that the sport of athletics and its governing body are world-class and an example to others with regard to governance, transparency and ethics.
“We also need to provide greater grassroots support to inspire the next generation of athletes… and we need to ensure protection of clean sport.”
Former middle distance star Coe, who headed the London 2012 Olympic organising committee, threw his hat into the ring in November with a pledge to attract more young people to the sport and crack down on the scourge of doping.
Diack, 81, has been president since succeeding Primo Nebiolo in 1999 but will retire this year and the vote for his successor will take place at the IAAF Congress in Beijing.