Shlyakhtin re-elected President of Russian federation

By Dmitriy Rogovitskiy
Head of the Russian Athletics Federation (ARAF) Dmitry Shlyakhtin and Olympic pole vault champion Yelena Isinbayeva arrive to deliver a speech. Brothers Znamensky Olympic Centre, Moscow, Russia, 28/7/16. REUTERS/Maxim Shemetov

By Dmitriy Rogovitskiy MOSCOW (Reuters) - Dmitri Shlyakhtin was re-elected as President of the All-Russian Athletics Federation (ARAF) on Friday after twice Olympic pole vault champion Yelena Isinbayeva withdrew her candidacy. The 49-year-old Shlyakhtin received 36 votes, five more than rival Andrei Silnov, and will serve another four years in the post. Isinbayeva, who Russian media reported had been the favourite to get the job, withdrew from the election after she was named as head of a new Russian Anti-Doping Agency (RUSADA) Supervisory Council on Wednesday. "I had to withdraw my candidacy because I was named as the head of the RUSADA Supervisory Council. This was to ensure that there would not be a conflict of interests," Isinbayeva told reporters. Isinbayeva, 34, retired from athletics in August after Russia's track and field team were banned from competing at the Rio Olympics due to systematic doping in the country. Shlyakhtin took over as interim president in January, nearly a year after Valentin Balakhnichev stepped down. The International Association of Athletics Federations (IAAF) has banned Balakhnichev for life over his role in covering up positive drugs tests committed by Russian athletes. Shlyakhtin initially said he would quit as ARAF chief at the end of 2016 due to a heavy workload but then decided to stand for election. He is also the sports minister of the Samara Region, chairman of Krylya Sovetov soccer club and vice president of Lada Togliatti ice hockey club. Russia was suspended from world athletics last year following allegations of widespread state-sponsored doping in a report by the World Anti-Doping Agency (WADA), causing the country's biggest sporting scandal in several decades. In November 2015, WADA revoked the status of the Moscow Anti-Doping Laboratory saying that RUSADA did not comply with WADA standards. (Editing by Ed Osmond)