Beijing: Sebastian Coe vowed "zero tolerance" for drug cheats in track and field after winning a narrow vote to become the new president of world athletics body the IAAF yesterday.
Sebastian Coe reacts after winning the IAAF presidential elections yesterday
Coe pipped Ukraine's Sergey Bubka 115-92 in the vote at the International Association of Athletics Federations (IAAF) Congress in Beijing, but he has a tough task ahead of him. With a series of doping controversies at the top of Coe's agenda when he takes office after the August 22-30 World Championships in Beijing, the Briton said he and his new team would be "vigilant" in their crusade against cheats.
"There is a zero tolerance to abuse of doping in my sport and I will maintain that to the very highest level of vigilance," said Coe, who won Olympic 1500m golds in the 1980 and 1984 Games.
"I don't want the thought that trust and integrity are only something that are rooted in challenges around doping in sport or doping in track and field. There is a universal problem with that in sport and we recognise that and we've been the lead role for that as long as I've been in the sport. "That's something I'm very proud of, that's something I'll very happily defend, how we approached that."
Coe added: "Everything that you do in a sport is underpinned by trust. It's the trust that athletes that are competing feel that they are competing in a free, fair and open environment. It's the trust that spectators have going into your stadiums to believe that what they're watching is legitimate, and that is really important.
"It's the trust of parents when they are helping their offspring make judgements about the types of sports they go to. They need to know that we are a sport that is very firm in this area." As part of his candidacy manifesto, Coe had promoted establishing an independent anti-doping body, with IAAF tests currently going through the World Anti-Doping Agency (WADA).
Athletics Federation of India (AFI) president Adille Sumariwalla has been elected to the International Association of Athletics Federations (IAAF) council at its ongoing Congress.
Sumariwalla, who bagged 61 votes in the second round, has been elected as one of the nine individual members of the council at the 50th Congress of the world athletics body, There were 39 candidates overall in the fray for the nine seats.