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Diack Re-Elected As President of IAAF

August 20, 2003

PARIS (AP) _ Senegal’s Lamine Diack was re-elected as president of the International Association of Athletics Federations on Wednesday, but a first vote by the ruling council was invalidated during a chaotic congress meeting.

The biennial IAAF congress, meeting ahead of Saturday’s start of the World Championships, extended Diack’s reign by four years with a 165-9 vote with four abstentions.

But the results of the election of 13 council members were met with howls of protest after it turned out that 79 of the 200 delegates had their votes rejected.

Diack immediately called for a suspension of the proceedings, and the delegates voted to have a second election later Wednesday. The initial vote was held with an electronic system, and several people complained their votes were not properly accepted by the computer.

``This is not possible,″ Diack sighed before suspending the proceedings.

Results showed that former track stars Sergei Bubka and Sebastian Coe were among those elected as council members. Protests from New Zealand and the Czech Republic, among others, immediately called the result into question. Italy’s candidate, Gianni Gola, failed to made it onto the council according to the initial results, a major upset.

``We have to do it again,″ said Gianni Storti of the Italian delegation.

The congress also re-elected the IAAF’s four vice presidents _ Helmut Digel of Germany, Amadeo Francis of Puerto Rico, Arne Ljungqvist of Sweden and Lou Dapeng of China. All of them ran unopposed.

Ljungqvist originally proposed to have Diack elected unanimously by acclamation, but the outgoing president insisted on using the electronic voting system.

Diack succeeded Primo Nebiolo after Nebiolo’s death in 1999. Diack, 70, is also a member of the International Olympic Committee. Diack, a former long jumper, held the French and West African record from 1957-60.

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