The head of the Russian Olympic Committee says he will step down, three months after athletes from his country were forced to compete at the Pyeongchang Olympic Winter Games as neutral athletes.
In a statement, published by two state news agencies, Alexander Zhukov says he wants to focus on his political career. He is also a deputy speaker of the Duma (Russian parliament) for the ruling United Russia party.
He has led the ROC since 2010 and has spent much of that time battling allegations of widespread doping in Russian sport. “In the complex situation which has occurred in international sport in recent times, it is very important that the leader who will take charge of the Russian Olympic Committee works at the ROC on a full-time basis,” Zhukov said.
His intention to leave paves the way for vice president Stanislav Pozdnyakov to take charge after elections scheduled for 29 May. Pozdnyakov is the only confirmed candidate.
Pozdnyakov led the ‘Olympic Athletes from Russia’ delegation to the PyeongChang Games in February, when the country’s official team was banned because of doping allegations.