Lord Sebastian Coe's parting message as chairman of the London Organising Committee of the Olympic Games, "when our time came, we did it right", has never seemed so pertinent. Upon being elected the new president of the International Association of Athletics Federations (IAAF), the two-time Olympic 1,500m champion must use those words as the strapline for his tenure as the new leader of world athletics, which is going through the most damaging crisis in its history.
Though as the chief orchestrator of London 2012 Coe could have been accused, arguably unfairly, of being a figurehead of a giant organisation in which he was merely a cog, there is no hint of sentimentality in him being parachuted into the IAAF hot seat. For an athlete who prided himself on outlasting his opponents with ferocious speed rather than tactical nouse, it is impossible to get away from the fact that Coe faces the greatest challenge of his career to turnaround a sport in turmoil.
Already the frontrunner before the latest batch of allegations were thrown in front of the IAAF by The Sunday Times, the aggression Coe has showed during his vigorous campaign towards anti-doping and his pledges regarding reform clinched his victory over Sergey Bubka. As with every term in office, achieving those targets and therefore restoring confidence in the sport is critical.
Honestly may be the best policy for Coe, despite his lofty position. Though dozens of athletes will have prepared for the World Championships starting on 22 August without the assistance of doping, with the event occurring during a period of uncertainty for the sport, Coe must distance himself from the showcase meet.
Short of cancelling the championships, he should discredit the results achieved while a cloud hangs over the sport. It may not assist 11th-hour ticket sales or global viewing figures but Coe can be forgiven for overlooking fiscal motives in exchange for restoring integrity.
Testing process issues
Coe has promised he will find the funds to ensure the IAAF goes above the call of duty in regard to testing, which he wants to be independently managed. News on the eve of his election that the governing body will only test the blood of a third of athletes during the World Championships is a damaging one and in spite of the recent allegations, sees testing downsized.
In terms of securing funds to improve the testing process, which is currently propped up by just £1.47m ($2.3m), there are obvious areas for Coe to reign in funds. The 14-date Diamond League season should be the first cut to the budget.
The events are a diluted experience for fans and athletes alike, from which very little is gained. An overhaul of the the current 14-date calendar, removing the vast number of dates particularly in Europe (there are two meetings in the United Kingdom alone) is overdue.
But Coe should go further with a complete streamlining of an overbearing athletics calendar, which is becoming increasingly awkward as World Championships and Commonwealth Games continue to be brought to new corners of the globe. It is about time that athletics restructures the timing of its major events, coming into line with other sports by hosting its World Championships ever four years, rather than two, and thus restoring some prestige to titles that are reallocated every 24 months and are gradually losing value.
It might be a separation from Nike, though, which has the greatest significance towards adding credence to his mandate to run athletics. An international adviser to the Oregon-based company, the abandoning of this position is overdue after Justin Gatlin was awarded a new sponsorship deal. Coe has been notably prickly over the issue despite admitting the idea of victory for the American in Beijing makes him "queasy", but if his tenure is truly to be defined by trust he is required to keep up his end of the bargain.