Stanislav Pozdnyakov elected new Russian Olympic Committee president

Stanislav Pozdnyakov elected new Russian Olympic Committee president

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Stanislav Pozdnyakov has been named as the new president of the Russian Olympic Committee (ROC).

Pozdnyakov, a four-time Olympic fencing gold medallist, who is currently serving as a first vice-president of the ROC and led the Olympic Athletes from Russia (OAR) delegation at the 2018 winter Olympic Games in Pyeongchang.

The 44-year-old won 214 votes at an election on Tuesday in Moscow, with rival candidate, four-time Olympic swimming champions Alexander Popov, securing 56 votes. The vote also saw new executive committee formed.

Pozdnykov will replace Alexander Zhukov, the leader of the ROC since May 2010 who did not contest Tuesday’s elections and is stepping down to focus on his political career.

Zhukov was suspended as an International Olympic Committee (IOC) member in December as part of the global governing body’s sanctions issued in response to the Russian doping scandal. Evidence was found of an “unprecedented systematic manipulation” of doping results by the ROC surrounding the 2014 Games in Sochi.

The ROC was reinstated in February by the IOC along with Zhukov’s membership, though its athletics federation, anti-doing agency Rusada and Paralympic Committee remain suspended over the allegations.

Russia has having denied state-sponsored programme and has pledged to work with international sports bodies to help curb doping.

Speaking following his election, Pozdnyakov said that ensuring full Russian participation at the Tokyo Olympics following the scandal was a priority and pledged to return the trust of international sports bodies.

According to state news agency Tass, he said: “We will pay close attention to the return of confidence in our sport. The participation of our full team in the [Olympic] Games is among our priority tasks.”

Pozdnyakov added: "I realise that we have a very big and serious work to do […] We have work to improve the management of sports, to raise the prestige of Russia on the international sports arena.”