Nawal El Moutawakel has publicly ruled herself out of running for the Presidency of the International Association of Athletics Federations (IAAF) next year when Lamine Diack steps down.
The Moroccan's decision means that the contest is likely to be a two-man race between Britain's Sebastian Coe and Ukraine's Sergey Bubka.
Only last month El Moutawakel, vice-president of the International Olympic Committee (IOC), had refused to rule out putting herself forward to replace Diack, the Senegalese who is retiring having led the IAAF since 1999.
But now El Moutawakel, the first Arab woman to win an Olympic gold medal when she won the 400 metres hurdles at Los Angeles 1984, has "definitely decided" not to stand she told Moroccan newspaper Le360.
The decision of 52-year-old leaves her free to concentrate on her role as chair of the IOC Coordination Commission which is currently overseeing Rio de Janeiro's troubled preparations for the 2016 Olympics and Paralympics.
It leaves Coe, the double Olympic 1500m champion and former chairman of London 2012, as the outstanding favourite to succeed Diack.
Diack, 80, announced last July that he would step down as President of the IAAF at the end of his current four-year reign.
Coe and Bubka, the world pole vault record holder and a member of the IOC, are both vice-presidents of the IAAF but the outstanding success of London 2012 has propelled the Briton into pole position.
Diack is widely expected to publicly anoint Coe as his successor before the election in Beijing in July 2015 on the eve of the IAAF World Championships.
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April 2014: El Moutawakel refuses to rule out bid for IAAF Presidency to replace Diack
July 2013: Exclusive: Diack confirmation he will step down as IAAF President leaves Coe in pole position