By Steve Keating
(Reuters) – Poland’s Sport and Tourism Minister Witold Banka is set to become the next World Anti-Doping Agency (WADA) president after a vote on Tuesday left him as the only remaining candidate.
Banka, an elite athlete who helped Poland win a bronze medal in the 4×400 metres relay at the 2007 world championships, beat Dominican Republic Vice-Minister of Sport and Tourism Marcos Diaz in a vote to replace the outgoing Craig Reedie.
The vote was taken by the representatives of the Public Authorities — the 21 government members who sit on the WADA Executive Committee and Foundation board — in Montreal.
“This is an important moment for Poland. Being chosen is a great honour, but also a great responsibility,” Banka told Polish news channel TVP Info.
The 34-year-old Pole will be formally confirmed as the fourth WADA president during the World Conference on Doping in Sport in Katowice, Poland from Nov. 5-7.
If anyone else is to challenge Banka they must have the support of at least one Foundation Board member and submit their candidacy to WADA before a May 31 deadline.
(Additional reporting by Alan Charlish in Poland; Editing by Ken Ferris)