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Russia Elects New Athletics Chief

The Russian athletics federation has elected a new president as it attempts to end the country's suspension from Olympic track and field.

Dmitry Shlyakhtin, a regional sports minister in the Samara region of central Russia, was elected unanimously by over 100 officials at the federation's conference in Moscow.

Shlyakhtin said his priority was to ensure Russian athletes compete at the 2016 Olympics as the sport tries to tackle rampant doping.

"This is not an easy time for Russia, it is not an easy time for athletics," said Shlyakhtin on January 16. "Going to the Olympic Games is task number one."

Russia was suspended from world athletics last year following allegations of widespread and state-sponsored doping in a report by the World Anti-Doping Agency (WADA), prompting the country's biggest sporting scandal in decades.

Based on reporting by Reuters and AP

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