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  • New Leader for Russian Olympics


    (ATR) Stanislav Pozdnyakov will succeed Alexander Zhukov as President of the Russian Olympic Committee.

    Stanislav Pozdnyakov (FIE)
    Pozdnyakov secured a four year mandate by a 214-56 vote over Alexander Popov. Pozdnyakov had the support of all Russian sport federations except the Russian Shooting Union before the election.

    The Russian Olympic Assembly convened for the vote in Moscow, after Zhukov said he would not seek re-election to the post. Zhukov is expected to join the Russian government following the election. As a result of stepping down Zhukov did not retain his IOC membership, which was contingent on him remaining president of the NOC.

    “[Zhukov] informed the president that he had very much enjoyed working in the IOC, and he emphasized that both he and the Russian NOC had had to accept administrative responsibility for the systematic manipulation of the anti-doping system in Russia, even though in none of the reports there was any allegation of wrongdoing against either the ROC or himself,” the IOC said in a statement before the election.

    Russia is seeking to move past the ongoing doping scandal, which has ensnared sport in the country since 2015.
    Currently the country remains non-compliant with the World Anti-Doping code, and its track and field federation is suspended by the International Association of Athletics Federations. The ROC was suspended by the IOC ahead of the PyeongChang Olympics, for the strategic manipulation of the anti-doping lab during the Sochi Games.

    However, a large Russian delegation competed as neutral athletes in PyeongChang. The country was quickly reinstated by the IOC following the Games, despite having two athletes fail doping tests during competition.

    In his final speech to the assembly before the election Pozdnyakov was quoted by RSport as saying the biggest challenge for the ROC was to “translate our relations with the IOC and international sports organizations into the realm of practical activities and projects”.

    Popov was subsequently elected to the ROC Executive Committee along with IOC Athletes Commission member Yelena Isinbayeva. Zhukov was elected as honorary president of the ROC and told RSport that it was possible Pozdynakov could eventually be elected to the IOC as well.

    “Membership in the IOC is not automatically transferred to the new president of the ROC. In general, such a strong country in sporting terms, like Russia, should rightfully take a place in the IOC,” Zhukov was quoted as saying.

    Written by Aaron Bauer

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