Sebastian Coe was elected president of the International Association of Athletics Federations (IAAF) on 19 August, beating Sergey Bubka by 115 votes to 92 in a ballot of the governing body's 50th Congress in Beijing.

The Briton will take over from Lamine Diack on 31 August, becoming head of a sport battling a public relations crisis, with the IAAF accused of failing in its duty to address cheating, amid allegations that blood doping was rife in athletics.

Addressing a news conference after his election, with Diack alongside him, Coe said: "I'm very flattered today and very honoured. I haven't really had much of a chance to allow it to sink in and I guess that's probably not going to happen for a day or two, but I'm rather relieved that you've still got the job until the 31 August, because at least it will give me the chance to just sit back and enjoy the moment."

The British life peer and former MP was head of London's 2012 Olympics campaign, but he said being IAAF president is the pinnacle. "I joined an athletics club when I was 11," he said. "I had a 10 or 12-year apprenticeship before I got to an Olympic stadium. I've had the joys of Olympic competition, I've had the joys of being part of a team that created something very special in London a few years ago, but this for me is the pinnacle; it is my sport, it is my passion, it is the thing I've always wanted to do."

The incoming president indicated his pride in the sport and said he would maintain Diack's legacy, adding: "Track and field is the number-one sport and I'm absolutely delighted to be the president of the number-one sport and I will do everything in my human capabilities to make sure that our sport maintains the values, maintains the strong legacies and the very, very firm foundations that president Diack has left me with."

He also praised Diack personally, saying the Senegalese "ceases to be our president on the 31 August, but he will always be our spiritual president and he will certainly be my spiritual president, so thank you Lamine for your help, your generosity of time, your guidance and above all your friendship; that is something that I will always treasure."