August 17, 2015 / 1:15 PM / 2 years ago

Diack confident of sport's future under new IAAF chief

BEIJING (Reuters) - Outgoing IAAF president Lamine Diack is confident about the future of athletics as the sport prepares to elect his replacement on Wednesday.

International Association of Athletics Federations (IAAF) President Lamine Diack speaks during a news conference for the Diamond League athletics meet in Doha May 10, 2012. REUTERS/Mohammed Dabbous/Files

Former Olympic champions Sergey Bubka and Sebastian Coe are in a head-to-head race to succeed the 82-year-old Diack who has run the governing body for 16 years.

“I am all the more confident of what we have in store,” the Senegalese told the opening day of the 99th IAAF Council meeting.

“I have laid the foundations for the future of the IAAF with our two great champions ... whoever the IAAF athletics family elects he will be a bona fide son of our sport.”

The organization has been under siege this month following accusations it has not done enough to combat doping in sport.

The allegations, which the IAAF deny, have come ahead of the world outdoor championships which begin on Saturday at the 2008 Olympic Stadium in Beijing.

Diack also announced he would not be the only official leaving the organization, saying in a statement that general secretary Essar Gabriel, who signed a four-year contract when he joined the IAAF in 2011, had decided not to renew his deal.

The council has also approved the dates for the 2018 world indoor championships, saying the event would be held in Birmingham, England on March 2-4, and added that a change in the walking race venue for the 2016 Olympics in Rio de Janeiro had been made.

Editing by Tony Jimenez

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