By Rajay Murdock, TrackAlerts.Com Writer 

Former pole vault star Sergei Bubka of Ukraine declared his bid earlier this week for the presidency of the International Association of Athletics Federations (IAAF) in a high-profile race against Sebastian Coe of Britain, the former middle-distance champion, who announced his candidacy in November 2014.

According to Bubka, "I am seeking the IAAF presidency to give something back to the world of athletics which has given so many opportunities to me throughout my life." Confirming what had been expected by many track and field analysts.

Lord Sebastian Coe, currently a vice-president of athletics’ world governing body, is standing to succeed Lamine Diack, who is stepping down in August. Both Coe and Bubka are IAAF Vice Presidents.

Sebastian Coe has launched his manifesto for the election to the IAAF presidency promising a transformation of the athletics calendar, attracting more young people via “street athletics” and setting up an ethics department for the sport.

Bubka and Coe are campaigning to succeed Senegal's Lamine Diack, who steps down this year after serving as president since 1999. The election will be on August 18 at the IAAF congress in Beijing on the eve of the World Championships.

The campaign comes against a backdrop of drug scandals casting a shadow over the sport, including allegations of organised doping in Russia and cheating among Kenya's acclaimed distance and marathon runners.

"I wish to build upon the progress achieved by the IAAF under (Diack's) leadership to ensure that the sport and its governing body are world-class and an example to others with regard to governance, transparency and ethics," Bubka said in a statement.

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