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IAAF elect woman, then realizing what they had done, take a re-vote

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Canada's Abby Hoffman was elected to the IAAF's vice presidents table this morning, only to be told that the voting process had suffered 'technical problems'. In a second round of voting, she lost some 50 votes, allowing Sergey Bubka (a darling of the IAAF) to be re-elected.

Hoffman is deeply confused by the days events..

"The whole election process was a pretty messy affair," she told insidethegames. The 64-year-old Canadian 1966 Commonwealth Games 880 yards champion and former director general of Sports Canada did not buy into the theory that she had only been elected initially thanks to the electronic voting system.

"Whatever the dynamics was underpinning the elections in the morning, when I had enough votes to be elected, it was a completely different dynamic in the afternoon," she said. "The reality is that the one [election] in the afternoon was the one that counted.

"But I'm not happy obviously about how things unfolded during the day."

Hoffman believes that once reality set in among the delegates that they had voted in a woman ahead of such a high-profile figure as Bubka it led to a change of mind. "Some people could say that the idea of having a female vice-president seemed like a good idea but when the prospect of it became a reality it wasn't so appealing," she said.

"I lost over 50 votes between the morning and the afternoon - was that the result of technical issues or something more that went on? "But I think it's quite clear to everybody that Sergey Bubka, having been the odd man out in the morning, pulled out all the stops to get himself back in position.

"But he still ended up with the lowest votes of all the candidates so I think there was something definitely going on there that was nothing to do with the computer system."

Hoffman admitted that the whole day had been an unedifying one for athletics.

"I feel worse just in terms of the reputation of the sport we couldn't pull off a proper election campaign," she said. "That's not a pretty picture for us."


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