SVEIN ARNE HANSEN is having a busy weekend in Belgrade. We are chatting in his box during the European Indoor Championships when Lord Coe arrives for a pow-wow between two athletics grandees but the pair have long been acquainted, ever since the double Olympic champion was in his majestic pomp on the track.

The Norwegian ran the Bislett Games in Oslo for many years, including its celebrated Dream Mile, back when peak-time audiences on British TV made it appointment viewing. As European Athletics' current president, he is still acutely attuned to the need to resonate with the public at large, which is why he issued a stern edict on Saturday night in the wake of attempts to prevent Laura Muir from instantly embarking on a lap of honour following her first major title before she neatly sidestepped past officials and savoured the moment.

Thank goodness for such insurgence, Hansen smiles. “We want to make the sport popular. People want to see Laura win and celebrate how she did. That’s a bonus for us. Sebastian Coe after his third world record in Oslo in 1980 had to do two more laps. Because people demanded he go round again.”

If Muir defends either, or both, of her golds at the next edition of the European Indoors in Glasgow in two years time, you can imagine the home crowd will demand she carries onward for a tour of Sauchiehall Street for good measure. Hansen was a vocal supporter of bringing the showpiece back to the city for the first time since 1990 when Tom McKean was serenaded at the old Kelvin Hall.

Confabs in Serbia between the 2019 event team and their predecessors brought up few revelatory learning points. There is already ample experience on board between UK Athletics and the local organising committee with a bank of knowledge acquired through the biennial Indoor Grand Prix, which is set to return to the Emirates next February, as well as the Commonwealth Games.

“Glasgow will be a fantastic venue,” Hansen asserts.

There is, of course, the potential to subsequently bring the European Team Championships in Glasgow with a tentative approach for 2021 in the works. Yet while the city will co-host the inaugural European Sports Championships next summer, the track and field part will be the anomaly in the schedule, held in Berlin while the other parts – cycling, gymnastics, swimming, triathlon, rowing and the oddity, golf, with some meaningless made-for-TV competition – scattered around central Scotland.

The two-city approach has always seemed curious, especially with the highest profile component divorced from the rest. “It would help if they were a little bit closer,” Hansen says. The bidding process for 2022 may reflect concerns. “I don’t see that we will ever be in one city. Maybe Paris or London are big enough to have everything in one but I’d be happier if it were in one region. A little bit closer than in Glasgow.”

Yet he expects it to bring synergies. The schedules have already been co-ordinated to maximise television exposure with an expectation that acting in unison will generate extra commercial revenues. So far, so promising, Hansen adds.

“It will be very good promotion, especially for us because we are in the second week. So for the seven days leading up to Berlin, there will be seven days of European championships on television, all the sports in Glasgow, and we have contracts with all the large television companies. I hope that works. We have signed up because we think it will be bring more spectators and TV viewers.”

The product matters. Hansen knows the public’s affection for athletics will remain conflicted while questions of doping overhang his sport. For every group of Laura Muir face mask-wearing enthusiasts, there are those staying firmly sceptical about what is on view.

The 70-year-old, highly influential within the IAAF, vocally backed an exclusion of Russia which remains open-ended. More can and will be done, he insists. “We are not unfortunately probably clean everywhere but we are doing our best from our side to clean up the sport. We’re working hard to get the message out.”

From 2020, all participants in European competitions, from under-16 level upwards, must pass through a mandatory anti-drugs education programme designed to hammer home the messages of intent. “All the coaches, all the accredited people will have to have ticked that box in our system. It will take about 40 minutes to complete that.”

Beyond that, efforts will be redoubled to squeeze out the cheats. “If I get my way, and I think, I will, they will have the doping pass with their blood profile with four tests over six months,” Hansen adds. “We are prepared to invest the money.” And the time, no matter how little a fully-engaged president has to spare.