Bob Hersh Named New Senior Vice President of IAAF

September 5, 2011

The International Association of Athletics Federations (IAAF) Council has nominated Bob Hersh of the United States as the Federation’s senior vice-president succeeding Sergey Bubka, taking his place as the President Lamine Diack’s official deputy.

Hersh finished top of the drama ridden polling process before the World Championships got underway here to establish the four vice-presidents who will be in place for the next four years.

Bubka, the current senior vice-president, finished fifth and last in the initial vote for the four places, but a re-vote was called due to reported technical problems with the electronic voting system.

By the time the process had been completed, Bubka had one of the four spots, albeit with the lowest vote from the 199 countries, and Canada’s Abby Hoffman, who had appeared to be the first female IAAF vice-president as one of the top two candidates – polling 175 votes along with Qatar’s Dahlan Jumman Al-Hamad – had dropped out in fifth place after her vote fell to 122.

Hersh, who originally polled 171 votes, and the London 2012 chairman Sebastian Coe, who received 167, retained their places.

Hersh, 71, a Harvard Law School graduate, has been a member of the IAAF Council since 1999.

An IAAF release explained the process thus: “The Council in accordance with article 6.9 of the Constitution, had to nominate one of the vice-presidents as senior vice-president for the purpose of presiding over the Council in the absence of the President.

“In this respect Robert Hersh (USA), who polled most votes of the four Vice-Presidents who were elected at Congress, gained the support of Council and has been appointed as senior vice-president.”

Diack is expected to step down in 2015 paving the way for a successor to be established.

The battle is expected to be between Coe and Bubka, the 1988 Olympic pole vault champion and world record holder, with Hersh, it is believed, not having any great plans to mount a campaign to take over from Diack.

If Bubka had continued in his role as senior vice-president then it would have put him as the favourite to takeover for when Diack retires.

But, following the decisions made here, it is now seen to be a more closer competition with Coe having a great opportunity to stake his claim by putting on a successful Olympics next year.