Russia elects new athletics chief amid doping scandal

BY foxsports • January 16, 2016

MOSCOW (AP) The Russian athletics federation elected a politically connected former coach as its new president Saturday as it tries to end the country's suspension from Olympic track and field.

Dmitry Shlyakhtin, a regional sports minister in the Samara region of central Russia, was elected unanimously after his main rival withdrew as part of a deal brokered by senior Russian officials.

Shlyakhtin said his ''task is simple, to return Russian athletics to the world level and to revive trust.''

Russia was suspended in November following the publication of a World Anti-Doping Agency report alleging a vast state-sponsored doping operation.

Russian athletes are banned from competing in international track and field competitions, including the Olympics, and Shlyakhtin pledged to follow the recommendations set by the IAAF for Russia's reinstatement.

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