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Sebastian Coe elected President of IAAF

The English Olympic gold winner was previously vice-president of the organisation for two terms and headed the London 2012 Olympic Committee.

Lord Sebastian Coe

Lord Sebastian Coe, one of England’s most iconic track-and-field athletes, has been elected president of the International Association of Athletics Federations, the world’s governing body for athletics. 

Coe, who won four Olympic medals for England in his time as a competitive athlete, announced his bid for the presidency in November last year. His biggest competition for the presidency was from Russian pole vaulter Sergei Bubka. 

Prior to his bid for presidency, Coe successfully led and handled London’s bid for the 2012 Olympics. Following this, he became the chairman of the 2012 London Olympics Committee.

This is not his first brush with management in the IAAF. Coe was elected vice-president of the organisation in 2007, and re-elected for a second four-year term in 2011. He set several world records in his time as an athlete and was honoured by the Queen for his achievements. 

His bid for presidency was supported by several athletics icons, among them Haile Gebreselassie, David Rudisha, Yelena Isinbayeva, Jessica Ennis-Hill and Valerie Adams. 

The IAAF is currently under fire following the revelation of data that allegedly shows a widespread extent of doping among the athletes, which the organisation apparently ignored. Several athletes who were allegedly taking performance-enhancing drugs won championships, among them 2012 London Olympics 1500m women’s winner Asli Cakir Alptekin, who yesterday was retroactively stripped of her medal

London Marathon organisers also criticised the IAAF after an anonymous whistleblower revealed data that revealed ‘7 of 12 London Marathon winners’ were on performance-enhancing drugs at the time of their wins. 

Coe will go into the presidency in the midst of a tumultous time for the organisation, especially so as the IAAF World Championships are due to begin this month at the Bird’s Nest Stadium in Beijing, China.

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