Bubka Forging IAAF Manifesto

(ATR) IAAF presidential candidate Sergey Bubka wants input from the grassroots for his campaign manifesto.

(ATR) IAAF presidential candidate Sergey Bubka says he wants to hear more from the grassroots before he releases a campaign manifesto.

The 10-time world champion spoke with reporters on the sidelines of the European Athletics Indoor Championships in Prague March 7.

"Before I present it, I need to communicate with all of the continents and most of the member federations to get their feelings, their views and their vision as to what should be done to work as a team together," Bubka said.

Bubka did say it will include a zero-tolerance stance on doping in athletics.

"The biggest threat in the 21st century is doping. Clearly, we must strengthen the rules and regulations.

"It’s no doubt, zero tolerance. We must protect the clean athletes."

Bubka said he was shocked by a German-produced documentary, which aired in December, exposing Russian doping practices and related cover-ups.

"Regarding the anti-Russian sanctions, I’m happy and pleased as chairman of the IOC entourage commission that we played an important role," Bubka said.

Bubka and British Olympic Association chair Sebastian Coe are the only confirmed candidates in the race for IAAF president. The IAAF will vote on a new president to succeed Lamine Diack in August.

When asked if he believed he could defeat Coe, Bubka answered with confidence.

"If you do not believe, you will not run."

The 51-year-old also stressed his belief in the need to engage youth in Athletics if the sport is to prosper in the future.

"We have excellent development programs, but we must review and see what will be better for tomorrow.

"If you create interest in sport, they will follow."

He added, "It’s important to bring Athletics to new heights, it should be visible 365 days a year.

"Athletics has all the tools to serve universally as an example for a healthy lifestyle."

Bubka picked up support from one of the stars of the Indoor Championships in Prague--French pole vaulter Renaud Lavillenie.

"Of course, I would love it because he is in the pole vault family," Lavillenie said when asked about Bubka for IAAF president.

"I have a lot of respect for him and whenever we are together, we talk about a lot of things--pole vault and life.

"I am really happy about this because a few years ago he was an idol for me."

The 28-year-old, who broke Bubka’s longtime world record last February in Ukraine, took three solid attempts at the world record height of 6.17 meters.

Bubka says Lavillenie’s burgeoning star power and showmanship is essential to the success of Athletics.

"He’s an artist, a great athlete and has a great personality.

"With stars like him, we can get more kids with us."

Ukrainian NOC Overcomes Hurdles

Despite political turmoil, the Ukrainian NOC is moving forward Bubka says.

Currently serving his third term as Ukrainian NOC president, Bubka acknowledged the bumpy road ahead.

"With the situation that exists, of course it’s not so easy; economically and financially, everyone feels it."

He added, "But last year, we didn’t cut our programs, projects and support with regards to our athletes and federations.

"We used money through our marketing program and we received great support from the IOC and President Bach and the EOC and Patrick Hickey."

Bubka said this puts the NOC in an even stronger position to support its athletes.

Ukraine, with a contingent of 24 athletes competing in Prague, left the Prague indoor championships with one gold and one bronze.

"Still today we are managing very well, but it is not easy," Bubka said.

Written by Brian Pinelli in Prague

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