The head of the Russian Olympic Committee will step down three months after athletes from his country were forced to compete at the Pyeongchang Games as neutral athletes.
In a statement published Wednesday by two state news agencies, Alexander Zhukov said he wants to focus on his political career. He is also a deputy speaker of parliament for the ruling United Russia party.
Zhukov has led the ROC since 2010 and spent much of that time battling allegations of widespread doping in Russian sport.
''In the complex situation which has occurred in international sport in recent times, it is very important that the leader who will take charge of the Russian Olympic Committee works at the ROC on a full-time basis,'' Zhukov said.
His intention to leave paves the way for vice president Stanislav Pozdnyakov to take charge at scheduled elections on May 29. Pozdnyakov is the only confirmed candidate.
Pozdnyakov led the ''Olympic Athletes from Russia'' delegation in February, when the country's official team was banned because of doping.
Pozdnyakov, like International Olympic Committee President Thomas Bach, is a former fencer who won an Olympic gold medal.
Zhukov has been an IOC member and his departure from the ROC would leave Russia with two members instead of three, unless the IOC votes to add his successor.
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