Nicolas Debrimou has resigned as President of the Ivory Coast Athletics Federation (FIA) after he failed to receive the support of the organisation’s members during their General Assembly in Abidjan.
A statement published in an online portal, insidethegames.biz, obtained by the News Agency of Nigeria (NAN) said that he opted to stand down with immediate effect.
It disclosed that Debrimou had six months to end his third mandate.
The statement said that nearly half of the 57 Ivorian athletics clubs present at the meeting gave Debrimou a vote of no confidence amid the claims of wrongdoing, which he denied.
"A total of 18 clubs backed Debrimou to carry on,’’ it said.
It added that following his resignation, Debrimou remained defiant, insisting he had not “hijacked’’ any funds as had been suggested.
The statement said he had already announced that he would not seek another term at the helm of the governing body, with elections scheduled for June.
It said that he was set to take his case to the National Olympic Committee, the Confederation of African Athletics and the International Association of Athletics Federations (IAAF).
“I have requested for evidence and the auditors have not been able to give evidence of the misappropriation,’’ the statement quoted Debrimou as saying.
Debrimou also told Mondial Sport he was happy with the work he had done but was also relieved to be departing the position.
“I am proud of the work I have done, I fulfilled my mission.
“I inherited a federation which was anachronistic; I brought it to a level where everyone is proud.
“I have obtained recognition for the nation since I have hijacked no funds as some want to believe.
“The clubs, for reasons of their own, have not renewed their trust in me, I share relief and I wish good luck to the new President to be elected,’’ it said.
It added that insidethegames had contacted the IAAF for comment.