The RusAF will hold an Extraordinary Conference in Moscow tomorrow ©Getty Images

Three candidates will be in the running to succeed Dmitry Shlyakhtin as President of the Russian Athletics Federation (RusAF) when the crisis-ridden body holds elections at an Extraordinary Conference in Moscow tomorrow.

Moscow Athletics Federation head Oleg Kurbatov, sports manager Mikhail Gusev and United Aircraft Corporation board member Yevgeny Yurchenko are the three officials standing for the top job.

According to Russia's official state news agency TASS, Yurchenko has emerged as the favourite to be elected.

Four candidates were initially confirmed by the RusAF, but Olympic 800 metres gold medallist and national team coach Yury Borzakovsky withdrew earlier this week to focus on his coaching career.

The winner of tomorrow's crucial election will replace Dmitry Shlyakhtin, who resigned after he was one of seven officials charged with obstructing an anti-doping investigation into world indoor high jump champion Danil Lysenko by the Athletics Integrity Unit (AIU).

The AIU case has sparked a crisis at the national governing body, which has been suspended from World Athletics since allegations of state-sponsored doping emerged in November 2015.

The winner of tomorrow's election will succeed Dmitry Shlyakhtin as RusAF President ©Getty Images
The winner of tomorrow's election will succeed Dmitry Shlyakhtin as RusAF President ©Getty Images

The AIU recommended RusAF be expelled from World Athletics after ruling it had failed to satisfactorily answer allegations against the officials charged with obstructing the probe into Lysenko.

The Russian Sports Ministry suspended its recognition of the RusAF for a month following the damning AIU report, which claimed the organisation had "gone to great lengths to deny any involvement in the matter, blame others and attack the process".

A Russian Olympic Committee working group was then installed to oversee the RusAF after its entire Executive Committee resigned.

Russian officials and athletes will be hoping tomorrow's election will pave the way for a fresh start for the RusAF.

"Naturally, I look forward to these elections with optimism, I expect that the changes will be for the better and we will be able to return our athletics to the international family," world high jump bronze medallist Ilya Ivanyuk said.

"I would like to believe in this."

A new Executive Committee is also expected to be chosen at the conference in the Russian capital, a meeting considered vital for the future of the embattled organisation.