The International Association of Athletics Federations has elected former Olympic gold medalist and IAAF vice president Sebastian Coe as its new president.
Coe beat out former Olympic gold-medal pole-vaulter Sergey Bubka, 115-92, in the final vote, per Sky Sports. While the IAAF is comprised of 214 federations, only 207 cast final votes in Beijing, according to the organization’s official website.
Coe will officially enter office Aug. 31, per the IAAF, at which point he will succeed 82-year-old Lamine Diack of Senegal.
“Following many months of traveling and consulting with the Member Federations I believe more than ever that by working together with a focus on innovation and engagement we can create a new and exciting golden era for Athletics,” Coe said Monday in Beijing, according to SebCoe2015.org.
With the support of his peers, Coe will also need to address a doping scandal that has mired the IAAF in controversy since late 2014.
During Diack’s waning days in office, a German documentary claimed that 99 percent of Russian athletes were doping between 2001-2012, per BBC.com. Additionally, the program accused the IAAF of helping to cover up the use of banned substances.
However, the IAAF released a statement Aug. 4 strongly denying the allegations.
“Every athlete in 2012-13 was subjected to a blood test, which was unprecedented. We have led the way on this and have consistently done so,” Coe said Aug. 5, according to BBC.com.
In addition to serving as the new IAAF president, Coe is also thechairman of the British Olympic Association and formerly functioned as the bid chair for the 2012 Summer Olympics in London.
With the 2015 IAAF World Championships slated to begin Aug. 22 and run until Aug. 30 in Beijing, Coe will be front and center as the IAAF turns its attention to its new leader and his quest to rid the sport of scandal.