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Doping watchdog WADA mulling 3 presidential candidates

AP  |  Lausanne (Switzerland) 

After the extreme stress test of a years-long Russian doping scandal, the will get a new leader this year while still rebuilding trust with athletes.

The six-year presidency of member began with the steroid-tainted Sochi and will end in November with likely dozens of Russian doping cases unresolved in the ongoing fallout.

"This has been a complicated period," Reedie acknowledged Wednesday on the sidelines of WADA's annual hosting of anti-doping experts in the family's home city.

has been hit from all sides during what the Scottish official described as "one of the biggest political stand-offs in world political affairs" of recent years.

Still, Reedie believes he hands over an organization that "comes out of it with very substantial credit, and if some of that bounces back on me then I will be happy to take it."

The next will be picked by the public authorities, which jointly fund the global anti-doping watchdog, and take turns holding the presidency with the movement.

nominated Poland's minister, Witold Banka, and the proposed of the Both former athletes are members of WADA's committee.

A third candidate is Linda Helleland, the vice and its most of The Norwegian lawmaker remains in the race without a formal nomination.

All three candidates were at the WADA conference Wednesday, though no campaign event was held with key stakeholders from laboratories, anti-doping agencies, groups and governing bodies.

Reedie would not speculate on how the job has evolved in his time, but added: "I am sure a new will have his own priorities."

Here's a look at what the candidates are focusing on:

Poland's 34-year-old entered politics after a career as a world-class He got a bronze medal in the 4x400-meter relay squad at the 2007 world championships.

He recalled how his Polish relay colleagues were denied gold medals at the 1999 worlds by "some cheaters" among the quartet which was later stripped of the title.

He said he would create a solidarity fund to help pay for more testing laboratories, especially outside

Asked about the Russian case, he pivoted to suggest "we are forgetting about anti-doping blank spots."

Banka said almost 10 percent of the medals from the 2016 Rio de Janeiro 306 events in total went to countries with a "very weak anti-doping system."

"For my opinion, this is the biggest problem," he said, noting there is just one WADA-accredited laboratory in It is in Bloemfontein, South

"We should have equal treatment for all countries. Russia, Poland, USA, all European countries (should) respect the rules," he said.

The former marathon is president of CADE, the pan-American group of

WADA has had three white, male presidents from Anglo-Saxon countries since it was created in 1999. Now, Diaz believes it is time for a leader from "not only the but a third-world country."

"Leaving that part of the world behind creates doping havens," he said. Diaz cited work to rebuild links with the Like Banka, he voted on WADA's ruling committee to reinstate Russia's anti-doping agency last September before the country met the mandatory conditions laid down.

He suggested Helleland could step aside before a May 14 meeting of WADA's public authority delegates choosing the next president. Then, in Montreal, they hope to find a consensus candidate who will shadow WADA leaders before formally replacing Reedie at a Nov. 5-7 conference in

Asked about Helleland finding a late nomination proposal, Diaz said: "Will a country do that and break the gentlemen's rule? I hope not."

Running against two former athletes, Helleland is the candidate pressing hardest to include athletes in decision making.

"It hurts me that they tell us they lost trust in anti-doping," said the former for children and equality from Norway's

Helleland's public questioning of an apparent rush to reinstate last year riled influential people in the establishment while gaining respect from many athletes.

"They appreciate that someone is talking to the and talking to without any fear of their position later," she said, adding she was "fighting for the right values and what is necessary for WADA in future.

(This story has not been edited by Business Standard staff and is auto-generated from a syndicated feed.)

First Published: Thu, March 14 2019. 09:50 IST