Stanislav Pozdnyakov has been President of the Russian Olympic Committee since 2018 ©Getty Images

Russian Olympic Committee (ROC) President Stanislav Pozdnyakov has moved closer to re-election in December, after being nominated by the Russian Athletics Federation (RusAF).

Pozdnyakov was elected to succeed Alexander Zhukov in 2018, and has been at the helm during a period of significant changes to Russia's standing within global sport.

The country held the FIFA World Cup at the start of his tenure, but competed at the Tokyo 2020 and Beijing 2022 Olympic Games without its flag under the "neutral" ROC banner due to sanctions imposed after the Russian Anti-Doping Agency was declared non-compliant with the World Anti-Doping Code in December 2019.

These sanctions, which include Russia being unable to host or be granted the right to stage major competitions "unless it is legally or practically impossible" for them to be moved, are due to remain in place until December 16 this year after their length was halved by the Court of Arbitration for Sport in December 2020.

Russia has since been largely frozen out of international sport after the International Olympic Committee (IOC) in February recommended that its and Belarus' athletes are excluded from events due to the invasion of Ukraine.

The ROC and National Olympic Committee of the Republic of Belarus have avoided direct sanctions from the IOC, allowing both to attend the Association of National Olympic Committees (ANOC) General Assembly in Seoul earlier this month.

Pozdnyakov has been a critic of the Olympic Movement's response to the war in Ukraine, and has suggested that it is an "honourable duty" for Russian athletes to fight in the conflict.

He attended the ANOC General Assembly, and delivered a report in his capacity as the global organisation's Culture and Education Commission chair.

ROC President Stanislav Pozdnyakov, right, attended the ANOC General Assembly in Seoul ©ROC
ROC President Stanislav Pozdnyakov, right, attended the ANOC General Assembly in Seoul ©ROC

This featured controversial videos showing activities held in Russia since the invasion of Ukraine that prompted a walkout from a small number of delegates, including National Olympic Committee and Sports Confederation of Denmark President Hans Natorp who described the contents as "inappropriate propaganda".

ANOC President Robin Mitchell later said that one of the videos would not have been shown had the organisation's leadership seen it prior to the presentation.

Pozdnyakov has been removed as President of the European Fencing Confederation by National Federations following his actions in the wake of the war.

However, he appears well-positioned for re-election as ROC President after his nomination by RusAF.

"The [RusAF] Presidium decided to nominate Stanislav Alekseevich Pozdnyakov for the post of President of the Russian Olympic Committee," RusAF Acting President Irina Privalova told Russian state news agency TASS.

ROC elections are due to be held on December 20.

The ROC's secretary general Anastasia Davydova reportedly fled to the United Arab Emirates earlier this month, but has opted to not to renounce her citizenship.

RusAF remains suspended by World Athletics, having been stripped of its membership in November 2015 following revalations of a high-profile doping scandal.

World Athletics confirmed earlier this month that an independent audit seeking to assess cultural changes in Russian athletics is underway, with a report to the Council expected at the end of November.