International Association of Athletics Federations (IAAF) Chief Executive Officer Olivier Gers has resigned 18 months into his role, citing differences with the global governing body of athletics' commercial strategy.
The Frenchman's departure came as a surprise, particularly after he was appointed by the International Association of Athletics Federation in 2016 amid much anticipation after a six-month search involving more than 200 candidates.
The IAAF said Gers would continue in his role for the next three months after which a new CEO would be recruited. The news is another blow to IAAF President Sebastian Coe in what has been a difficult period for him and his organization.
Coe was criticized this week by a British parliamentary report for providing "misleading" answers to questions in a 2015 hearing about what he knew about doping in Russian athletics before he took office. Coe, who was elected IAAF chief in 2015, had previously denied misleading the committee.