Ukrainian pole vault great to challenge fellow IAAF vice president Seb Coe for the top role

Sergey Bubka has confirmed he is to stand for presidency of the International Association of Athletics Federations (IAAF), challenging his fellow IAAF vice president Seb Coe for the top role.

“I am seeking the IAAF presidency to give something back to the world of athletics which has given so many opportunities to me throughout my life,” said the Ukrainian pole vault great who won Olympic gold in 1988 as well as claimed six consecutive world titles during his highly successful career.

Two-time Olympic 1500m gold medallist Coe announced his candidacy for IAAF presidency in November, with both men hoping to succeed Lamine Diack who is to step down in August having held the top position since 1999.

Coe revealed his presidential campaign manifesto, entitled Growing Athletics in a New Age, in December.

Bubka said: “I have been honoured to serve athletics alongside Lamine Diack, with my colleagues and friends. Now that Mr. Diack has decided to step down as president, I wish to build upon the progress achieved by the IAAF under his leadership to ensure that the sport of athletics and its governing body are world-class and an example to others with regard to governance, transparency and ethics.

“We also need to provide greater grassroots support to inspire the next generation of athletes; we need to better engage with young people and build new audiences; and we need to ensure protection of clean sport.”

The 51-year-old, who set a total of 35 world pole vault records, has been an IAAF council member since 2001 and vice president since 2007.

IAAF member federations are due to decide on Diack’s successor in August during Congress in Beijing.