Golden 25 - #7 - Russian Olympic Committee President Alexander Zhukov

(ATR) ROC president Alexander Zhukov has a vital role to play in restoring country’s IAAF membership.

Russia's Olympic Committee (ROC) president Alexander Zhukov speaks to the media at the end of a ROC executive board extraordinary meeting in Moscow on November 18, 2015 following the IAAF's decision to temporarily suspend Russias athletics team after a damning report into endemic state-sponsored doping in the country. AFP PHOTO / KIRILL KUDRYAVTSEV        (Photo credit should read KIRILL KUDRYAVTSEV/AFP/Getty Images)
Russia's Olympic Committee (ROC) president Alexander Zhukov speaks to the media at the end of a ROC executive board extraordinary meeting in Moscow on November 18, 2015 following the IAAF's decision to temporarily suspend Russias athletics team after a damning report into endemic state-sponsored doping in the country. AFP PHOTO / KIRILL KUDRYAVTSEV (Photo credit should read KIRILL KUDRYAVTSEV/AFP/Getty Images)

(ATR) The Russian IOC member has a lot on his plate in the first few months of 2016.

Alexander Zhukov is number 7 in the Around the Rings Golden 25 for 2016. Now in its 20th year, the survey ranks 25 individuals or events expected to have a major influence on the Olympics in the year ahead.

Russian sports administrators led by Zhukov must make huge strides in cooperation with officials at the IAAF to tackle the systemic doping problem highlighted by the WADA Independent Commission’s report.

Zhukov, 59, shoulders significant responsibility for ensuring a swift clean-up of Russia’s corrupt anti-doping system to ensure the country achieves compliance with WADA’s code and regains its IAAF membership. Participation of Russia’s track and field athletes at the Rio Olympics is partly in his hands.

The former chair of the Sochi Olympic Supervisory Board is also a significant figure in determining whether Russia will go ahead with plans to stage the 2019 European Games. The 2014 Olympic host is the European Olympic Committee’s preferred bidder to hold the second edition of the Games in Sochi and Kazan. But the fallout from the devastating WADA report has forced the EOC and Russia to postpone any announcement. A decision is due in early 2016.

Zhukov, chair of the IOC’s 2022 Olympic evaluation commission, also appears to be in line to helm the coordination commission for Beijing 2022. The IOC is expected to name the watchdog chair in the coming weeks.

2015 ranking: 15

Written by Mark Bisson.

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