Witold Banka, Poland’s Sport and Tourism Minister, is poised to become the next president of the troubled World Anti-Doping Agency (Wada).
Banka defeated Dominican Republic’s Vice-Minister of Sport and Tourism Marcos Diaz in a vote to replace the outgoing Sir Craig Reedie. The 34-year-old’s election is expected to be rubber-stamped at the organisation’s November meeting.
Outspoken Wada vice-president Linda Helleland was once viewed as a leading contender for the position but Banka, a former middle-distance runner, was instead chosen by the Council of Europe as its candidate.
Restoring confidence and trust will be Banka’s first job after Russian Anti-Doping Agency Rusada was reinstated last year amid widespread criticism. Rusada was suspended in 2015 after an independent Wada report carried out by Canadian lawyer Richard McLaren outlined evidence of massive state-backed, systematic doping and cover-ups in Russian sport.
Reedie, who has been head of Wada since 2014, refused to step down over the issue but decided not to stand for re-election.