Wednesday August 19th, 2015

Two-time Olympic gold medalist Sebastian Coe was elected as the sixth president of the International Association of Athletics Federation at the governing body's 50th congress in Beijing.

Coe defeated fellow IAAF vice president and Olympic gold medalist Sergey Bubka by a final count of 115 to 92 votes. He succeeds Lamine Diack of Senegal, who has served as the IAAF president since 1999 and won the 2001, 2003, 2007 and 2011 elections unopposed. Coe will serve a four-year term beginning on Aug. 31. 

Coe was the chair of the 2012 London Summer Olympic Games organizing committee. He has been appointed to help with the Tokyo 2020 Olympic Games Coordination Commission as a representative for the Association of National Olympic Committees.

The new president inherits a sport struggling with an doping problem as recent investigations have discovered prominent Olympic and World Championship athletes using performance enhancing drugs. Coe's manifesto is built on four pillars: Embracing change to secure a better future; decentralization and empowerment, maximizing commercial growth and ensuring integrity and trust in everything the federation does. Coe called the latest drug allegations a “war” on his sport. 

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The former 800-meter and mile world record holder was endorsed by track and field greats including Haile Gebrselassie (Olympic and 10,000-meter world champion), Paula Radcliffe (women's marathon world record holder), David Rudisha (men's 800-meter world record holder), Yelena Isinbayeva (Olympic and World pole vault champion), Jessica Ennis-Hill (Olympic heptathlon champion) and Valerie Adams (Olympic and world shot put champion). British Prime Minister David Cameron also makes an appearance in one of Coe's campaign videos.

Coe will attend the 2015 IAAF World Championships in Beijing, which begin on Aug. 22. 


- Christopher Chavez

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