British Olympic Association Chair Sebastian Coe Poised To Become IAAF President
British Olympic Association Chair Sebastian Coe "looks poised to become the most powerful man in world athletics" after Lamine Diack confirmed that he would be stepping down as president of the Int'l Association of Athletics Federations in '15 and "would be recommending a successor without the need for an election," according to Simon Hart of the London TELEGRAPH. Diack, who turned 80 in June, "did not reveal the name of his chosen heir," though Coe, with whom he has forged a close bond during their battle to ensure an athletics legacy for the Olympic stadium, "was sitting next to him in a London hotel on Saturday as the veteran Senegalese outlined his retirement plans." Coe "has made no secret of his desire to take over the running of the world governing body," though fellow IAAF VP Sergei Bubka, the pole vault world-record holder and 1980 Olympic champion, "is known to harbour similar ambitions." In keeping with IAAF tradition, Diack said that "he hoped to avoid a contested presidential election by announcing his choice as successor and asking the Congress to support his recommendation." Diack said, "I will say who must be my successor and the reason why. Then the house can decide whether they want to follow or not." History suggests Diack "will get his way since there has never been a contested election for the IAAF presidency" (TELEGRAPH, 7/27).