Sebastian Coe has addressed IAAF staff in Monaco ©Getty Images

Newly elected International Association of Athletics Federations (IAAF) President Sebastian Coe predicted a "bright future" for the sport in an address at the organisation's headquarters in Monaco today, and says he plans to oversee a "world class organisation which has respect across the sporting landscape".

The 58-year-old, twice an Olympic champion over 1500m for Great Britain, took over as President on August 31 and today met the governing body's HQ staff at their offices in Monaco.

He is starting work as President at a time when there are widespread allegations of doping in athletics, with Coe himself describing coverage by The Sunday Times newspaper as a "declaration of war" on his sport.

In his speech to staff, he said it was a "dream come true" to be able to shape athletics and he pledged that the IAAF would be athlete centered and there to help its member federations.

“Not only am I happy to be here, I’m relieved,” said Coe, who defeated Ukrainian rival Sergey Bubka in the race to become President.

“The last year has been a great test of character for all candidates for IAAF positions, whether President, council, committees and commissions.

"Today is one of the proudest days of my life.

“I have only had five predecessors as President, each one making an indelible mark on our sport.

the IAAF Presidency, but will appoint his rival as a Senior Vice President
Sebastian Coe beat Sergey Bubka to the IAAF Presidency, but will appoint his rival as a Senior Vice President ©Getty Images

"The election has been a good process.

"It has given the member federations the chance to decide what sport they want.

"I have flown 778,000km since Christmas, meeting and listening to our member federations.

"I’m better prepared to serve this sport having gone through that journey.

“The IAAF is here to serve its member federations.

"We must be a member-federation-focused organisation at all times.

"They are our strength.

“I see a very bright future for athletics.

"To deliver this future we must ensure we are open and transparent, that we are relevant and exciting to young people.

“My job is to remove all inhibitors in this organisation so that you (IAAF staff) can do the best work of your life.

"So that together we can deliver a world class organisation which has respect across the sporting landscape.

"The IAAF must be a template for best practise and most importantly athlete centered.

“This is a dream come true to be able to shape a sport.

"We should wake up each morning excited to serve, knowing we have the greatest job in the world.

"We should be very proud that we are working in this sport.

"It also needs to be fun.

"I want people to fall in love with athletics for all the reasons we did."

Coe's first steps will be to review the structures and resources in place in Monaco, while he has confirmed a plan to appoint Bubka as Senior Vice President.

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