Yevgeny Yurchenko has been elected Russian Athletics Federation President ©Getty Images

Yevgeny Yurchenko has been elected as President of the crisis-stricken Russian Athletics Federation (RusAF) at an Extraordinary Conference in Moscow.

Yurchenko was the sole candidate for the position, after his remaining rivals withdrew from the election before the vote.

The United Aircraft Corporation Board member had initially been set to face competition from Moscow Athletics Federation head Oleg Kurbatov and sports manager Mikhail Gusev.

Kurbatov and Gusev opted to withdraw from the process.

Olympic 800 metres gold medallist and national team coach Yury Borzakovsky had also pulled out of the running for the position earlier this month to focus on his coaching career.

According to the Russian official state news agency TASS, 53 delegates present at the Extraordinary Conference voted in favour of Yurchenko’s election.

Seven votes were cast against, while three abstained.

Yurchenko, who previously served as first vice-governor of the Voronezh region, will be tasked with rebuilding the organisation.

He replaces 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).

Yevgeny Yurchenko was the sole candidate for the position after two rivals withdrew ©Getty Images
Yevgeny Yurchenko was the sole candidate for the position after two rivals withdrew ©Getty Images

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 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 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 RusAF after its entire Executive Committee resigned.

Russian athletes will hope the election of Yurchenko and a new board can help to rebuild the organisation and boost their prospect of competing at Tokyo 2020.

Russian athletes currently face the prospect of missing this year's Olympic Games after the AIU also recommended that the suspension of the Authorised Neutral Athlete (ANA) process be maintained.

The ANA process has allowed Russian athletes who have been able to show a record of proper anti-doping procedure to compete independently.

The status of RusAF will feature heavily on the agenda at the next World Athletics Council meeting on March 11 and 12.