Polish sports minister named as Europe’s pick to head WADA
PR dla Zagranicy
Polish Sports Minister Witold Bańka has been named as Europe's candidate to become the next head of the World Anti-Doping Agency (WADA).
Witold BańkaKancelaria Premiera [Public domain], via Wikimedia Commons
The former 400-metres runner-turned-politician on Wednesday won a key vote by a committee within the Council of Europe to become the continent’s official contender for the job, public broadcaster Polish Radio reported.
“Poland won in spectacular style in the first round,” Bańka told Polish Radio after the vote by the Ad-Hoc European Committee for WADA (CAHAMA) in Strasbourg, France.
“That means … a very strong mandate and support from many member states of the Council of Europe."
He added: "This is a great honour, a great privilege for me and also a huge responsibility."
Bańka received 28 of 49 votes to comfortably defeat rival politicians from Norway and Belgium, Poland’s PAP news agency reported.
Bańka said in an interview last year that the international anti-doping watchdog needed to tackle challenges including cheating in Russian sports, according to Polish Radio’s IAR news agency.
Bańka, 34, was in 2017 appointed a member of the executive committee of the World Anti-Doping Agency.
The organisation is expected to officially announce its new chief at a conference in the southern Polish city of Katowice in November.
The World Anti-Doping Agency was established in 1999 as an international, independent organisation funded by sports bodies and governments.
A new Polish Anti-Doping Agency (POLADA) began operating in 2017 to step up the fight against drug cheats in sports.
Source: IAR, PAP