By Tom Degun

Lamine Diack and Sebastian CoeMay 15 - Britain's Sebastian Coe (right) has claimed that he will stand to become the new International Association of Athletics Federations (IAAF) President only if current incumbent Lamine Diack (left) decides to step down when his latest four-year term ends in 2015, as he had promised.

Coe, a IAAF vice-president since 2007, is seen as the front-runner to replace Diack as President after staging the perhaps the greatest Olympic and Paralympic athletics competitions in history when he served as London 2012 chairman.

The IAAF Presidency also brings automatic International Olympic Committee (IOC) membership, something Coe is keen on.

But the 56-year-old double 1500 metre Olympic champion says that he refuses to stand against Diack, who has been IAAF President since 1999.

The 79-year-old from Senegal was re-elected for his latest four-year term in October 2011 and promised it would be his last, although it remains unclear whether he will now decide to stand again or even step down before 2015.

"I was once asked the question whether given the opportunity, at some stage, to help shape my sport [as IAAF President], would I do it and the answer was yes," Coe told Doha Stadium Plus.

"That's all I said.

"If the sport makes a choice in 2015, then of course I'm excited about playing my part.

"It's entirely up to our President [Diack] to make a decision when to step down.

"He has my full support as well as that of the entire IAAF Council.

"We're very comfortable with his Presidency.

"I also want to make it clear that I would never stand against my President in an election.

"But if he steps down in 2015, I would probably place myself as a candidate."

Should Diack step down, Coe's main rival for the position is considered Ukrainian pole vault legend Sergey Bubka, also an IAAF vice-president.

But despite many experts viewing it as a two-horse race between the pair, Coe says it may not be the case.
Bubka with CoeSebastian Coe (left) and Sergey Bubka (right) are seen as the two most likely contenders to replace Lamine Diack as IAAF President

"We aren't the only two people capable of contesting for the top spot," he said.

"There're many others as well.

"I'm the member of an IAAF Council full of talented people.

"It's for every one of them to make a personal judgement about how to contribute to the sport.

"Sergey Bubka is a very good friend and we've worked together for many years to help improve the sport.

"We both come from very competitive backgrounds.

"I'm sure we'll figure it out eventually."

Any potential showdown between Coe and Bubka may actually not happen at all as the Ukrainian is understood to be lining up to enter the race to become the next IOC President.

Bubka is currently an IOC Executive Board member and is looking to replace Jacques Rogge when he steps down on September 10 this year.

Should Bubka succeed in replacing Rogge in the most powerful position in world sport, he would relinquish all his other key roles, including his IAAF vice-presidency and his Presidency of the Ukrainian National Olympic Committee.

Contact the writer of this story at [email protected]

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