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Russia names new Olympic chief in wake of doping scandals

May 29, 2018
Russian National Olympic Committee Vice-President Stanislav Pozdnyakov attends a meeting for election of the new Russian Olympic Committee President in Moscow, Russia, Tuesday, May 29, 2018. Pozdnyakov, the current first vice-president of the ROC and who headed the neutral Olympic Athletes from Russia team at this year's Winter Olympic Games in Pyeonghang, is heavily favoured to be elected. (AP Photo/Pavel Golovkin)

MOSCOW (AP) — Fencing champion Stanislav Pozdnyakov was elected president of the Russian Olympic Committee on Tuesday after its previous leader stepped down following years of doping scandals.

Pozdyakov, who won three Olympic gold medals in 1996 and 2000, previously managed the “Olympic Athletes from Russia” delegation at February’s Winter Olympics in Pyeongchang after Russia’s team was formally banned for doping.

Pozdnyakov has said he wants to make Russia more influential in sports politics and leave the era of doping sanctions behind.

He beat the only other candidate, former swimmer and International Olympic Committee member Alexander Popov, by 214 votes to 56.

Pozdnyakov joins a clique of ex-fencers at the top of Russian sports politics, along with Sports Minister Pavel Kolobkov and billionaire businessman Alisher Usmanov, who is president of the International Fencing Federation. The IOC president, Thomas Bach, is also a former fencer.

Alexander Zhukov, a politician from the ruling United Russia party, had led the ROC since 2010 but said in May he wanted to focus on his career in parliament.

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