Former Olympic champion and current vice-president of the IAAF Sebastian Coe has revealed his intention to stand for presidency of the organisation when incumbent Lamine Diack stands down in 2015.
Lord Coe is the man credited with bringing the Olympics and Paralympics to London in 2012 and for securing the stadium’s legacy for athletics for future generations to enjoy. He has made no secret of his desire to succeed Diack, who has been at the helm for 16-years, and is known for his tough stance on doping in athletics as well as the importance of looking after youths involved in the sport.
He is expected to face competition for the role from ex-pole vault world record holder Sergey Bubka though the Ukranian has yet to officially throw his hat into the ring.
Coe, himself an ex-world record holder and double Olympic champion, will join fellow Brit Craig Reedie – who heads up the World Anti-Doping Authority – in charge of a major sporting organisation. He also endorsed Doha’s recent successful bid to host the World Championships in 2019, two years after it is held in London – despite the region’s controversial record on workers’ conditions when building world cup stadiums.
Should Lord Coe be elected, he will have to address a number of issues affecting athletics, including dwindling TV audiences, major doping scandals and attracting sponsors away from rival sports.
Coe has promised to publish a manifesto laying down his proposals in more detail next month. It is expected to contain information on how he will embrace change in athletics, and his vision for engaging with the next generation of athletes and fans of the sport.
The next IAAF president will be announced in August next year.