Ukrainian Sergey Bubka will challenge fellow Olympic champion Sebastian Coe for the presidency of the International Association of Athletics Federations.
Bubka, a former pole vaulter, won an Olympic gold in 1988 as well as six consecutive world championship titles.
The 51-year-old, who also set 35 world records, wants to replace Lamine Diack when he steps down in August.
Fellow IAAF vice-president Coe, a double Olympic champion in the 1500m, announced his candidacy late last year.
Bubka, who is head of his country's Olympic Committee, said he wanted to build on the work of Diack, adding: "We also need to provide greater grassroots support to inspire the next generation of athletes.
"We need to better engage with young people and build new audiences; and we need to ensure protection of clean sport."
Potential candidates for the IAAF presidency must register by May, with the election due to take place at the IAAF Congress in Beijing in August.