Frank Hensel, the chief executive of the 2009 IAAF World Championships in Berlin, has died at the age of 70 ©Getty Images

A tribute is set to be paid to Germany’s Frank Hensel during the two-day World Athletics Council, chaired by Sebastian Coe and which is due to take place virtually starting tomorrow.

The popular administrator died yesterday in Frankfurt at the age of 70 after suffering from a serious illness in recent months.

Hensel was chief executive of the 2009 World Championships in Berlin, widely regarded as the best edition of the event.

Highlights included Usain Bolt breaking the world record in both the 100 and 200 metres.

Hensel was also the deputy chairman of the Supervisory Board that helped organise the European Championships in Berlin in 2018, another hugely successful event.

A former decathlete, Hensel was the general secretary and director general of the German Athletics Association (DLV) between 1998 and 2016.

Before that, he had served as head coach and high-performance director of the DLV between 1994 and 1998.

Hensel had been first elected to the European Athletics Council in 2007 and served as vice-president between 2015 and 2019.

He was then elected to the European Athletics Executive Board at Prague last year.

"It’s hard to believe that Frank Hensel will not be around to gently guide athletics at so many levels," World Athletics President Sebastian Coe said. 

"The sport has lost a powerful intellect and a passionate advocate and friend to so many."

It is the second major loss this year for European Athletics following the death in June of its President Svein Arne Hansen.

The Norwegian, who had been elected for a second term as President only last year, died after suffering a stroke in March.

Frank Hensel was in charge of the brilliantly successful 2009 World Championships in Berlin where Usain Bolt, left, set world records in the 100m and 200m ©Getty Images
Frank Hensel was in charge of the brilliantly successful 2009 World Championships in Berlin where Usain Bolt, left, set world records in the 100m and 200m ©Getty Images

"For the world of athletics, the death of Frank Hensel is a great loss," said DLV President Jürgen Kessing.

"He has been involved in a wide variety of functions for many decades and right up until the end and enjoyed the highest reputation worldwide.

"Together with its regional associations, the DLV expresses its condolences to Hensel's family and his partner and, above all, wishes them a lot of strength in this difficult time."

Russia is again expected to dominate the agenda at the World Athletics Council meeting.

The Russian Athletics Federation (RusAF), suspended by World Athletics since November 2015 following allegations of state-sponsored doping, narrowly avoided the threat of being expelled from the International Federation at the last Council meeting.

They have since been given extensions until March 1 next year to produce an adequate restoration plan.

The RusAF today elected a new President, Peter Ivanov, the director of High-Speed Railways in Russia.

Margarita Pakhnotskaya, the former deputy director general of the Russian Anti-Doping Agency, was invited to the election in Moscow in her capacity as the independent expert of World Athletics.

She is expected to present a report to the World Athletics Council meeting.

There will also be a short update from Rune Andersen, head of the World Athletics Taskforce.

The appointment of a second independent expert to help Russia regain its World Athletics membership is expected to be ratified during the meeting.

The status of the Authorised Neutral Athlete (ANA) programme, allowing Russian athletes to compete internationally but not under their own flag, which has been suspended since March, will also be discussed.