MADRID -- The World Anti-Doping Agency elected former Australian Finance Minister John Fahey as
its new chairman on Saturday.
"I declare Mr Fahey elected but with four abstentions,"
outgoing head Dick Pound said after WADA's foundation board
Fahey's appointment ended weeks of turbulent negotiations
which upset European stakeholders and dented WADA's reputation.
Fahey, who in the end was the only candidate, won 13 of the
17 public authority votes and was then backed by the 18 Olympic
The European public authorities who opposed Fahey abstained
after asking Pound to postpone the vote for six months until a
consensus candidate could be found, a request Pound rejected
minutes before the vote.
"I urge you [that] we take the high road and come out
strong," Pound told the board in a final effort to push through
Maude de Boer, deputy secretary general of the Council of
Europe said the European bloc of public authority
representatives wanted a postponement as a consensus among all
public authority representatives had not been reached.
"We will not postpone the meeting," said Pound, who is
stepping down on Dec. 31.
Fahey joined the race after WADA vice-president
Jean-Francois Lamour was picked by European governments as their
choice to succeed Pound, a Canadian lawyer who has held the post
for eight years.
Shortly afterwards, Lamour withdrew unexpectedly, accusing
WADA of being ineffective and surprising his backers who
scrambled to find another candidate as they opposed Fahey's
A last-ditch effort to get former French sports minister Guy
Drut to stand as a consensus candidate for interim president
failed hours before the vote.