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Zelichenok officially assumes post of All-Russia Athletics Federation’s acting president

February 18, 2015, 21:23 UTC+3 MOSCOW
Balakhnichev, 65, who headed the ARAF for over 20 years and was reelected for another four-year term in 2012, announced his resignation in the wake of high-profile doping scandals
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© EPA Archive/SERGEI ILNITSKY

MOSCOW, February 18. /TASS/. Vadim Zelichenok officially assumed the post of the acting president of the All-Russia Athletics Federation (ARAF) on Wednesday after former president Valentin Balakhnichev resigned on February 17, ARAF Secretary General Mikhail Butov said.

Balakhnichev, 65, who headed the ARAF for over 20 years and was reelected for another four-year term in 2012, announced his resignation in the wake of high-profile doping scandals involving titled Russian athletes and handed over his powers to First Vice President Zelichenok.

"By delegating the rights to manage the organization to my companion I can say that I am handing over the organization in a normal condition without any debts of problems," Balakhnichev said commenting on his resignation on Tuesday. "We have only one problem, and it is the problem of doping. I hope I will still be of use for athletics. There was also part of my guilt as well and everything that happened."

In an interview with TASS, Zelichenok said he had no intentions to run in the organization’s next presidential election.

"I will try to explain that all this is only for the short period of time during the crisis situation. I hope to remain working on the executive posts of the ARAF, but I do not see myself in the capacity of the president. I am not that young and we need to give way for younger people," Zelichenok, 59, said.

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