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AFN boss Gusau loses at IAAF elections in Doha

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AFN President, Ibrahim Shehu Gusau. PHOTO: Athletics.Africa

The President of the Athletics Federation of Nigeria (AFN), Ibrahim Gusau failed to make it to the executive board of the world athletics governing body, IAAF, during its election in Doha, Qatar yesterday.

The Guardian learned that Gusau, who was among the contestants cleared to vie for the position of the vice president of the IAAF in yesterday’s election, lost out narrowly. Over 10 candidates vied to become one of the four vice presidents.

Four vice presidents, who were elected yesterday, include Ximena Restrepo, a 1992 Olympic 400m bronze medalist from Colombia, who became the first woman to serve in the position.

Other vice presidents were Sergey Bubka (Ukraine), Geoffrey Gardner (Norfolk Island) and Nawaf Bin Mohammed Al Saud (Saudi Arabia).

For the position of the president, all 203 voting members voted for 62-year-old Sebastian Coe, who ran unopposed.

Winning a second four-year term could boost Coe’s chances of landing a nomination to become an IOC member. But while an IOC membership remains a possibility, there is one certainty for Coe as he moves into his second term.

He will still be dealing with the Russian doping scandal and the continued suspension of the Russian Athletics Federation (RusAF).

Before the Congress re-elected Coe, it voted 164-30 to follow the unanimous recommendation by the IAAF Council to maintain Russia’s suspension due to RusAf’s continued failure to meet all of the required conditions for reinstatement.

The IAAF Council decision yesterday came hours after the World Anti-Doping Agency’s Executive Committee announced it had opened compliance proceedings against the Russian Anti-Doping Agency (RUSADA) after discrepancies were found in the data from a Moscow laboratory that RUSADA had handed over to WADA in January.

Meanwhile, the IAAF yesterday conferred on one of the longest-serving secretary generals of the Athletics Federation of Nigeria (AFN), Mrs. Maria Worphil, the Veteran Pin Award for her outstanding contribution to athletics.

Mrs. Worphil was honoured with the prestigious award during the opening ceremony of the 52nd IAAF Congress.

She has now joined the list of very few Nigerian recipients of the award, which includes two former Nigerian internationals, the late Alhaji Abdulkareem Amun and veteran coach, Armelia Edet, while former president of AFN, Solomon Ogba was a recipient of the award in 2013.

The World Athletics Championships begin tomorrow and run through October 6.


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