Madrid, Nov 16: The World Anti-Doping Agency will proceed with the scheduled election of its new chairman on Saturday despite a European bid to delay it, the outgoing head of the doping watchdog Dick Pound told reporters today.
Australian John Fahey is currently the only candidate to replace Pound after Europe's choice, Jean-Francois Lamour, unexpectedly quit as WADA vice president and withdrew from the running in October.
In a meeting of European public authority representatives on the WADA board that ended early today, it was agreed to propose to WADA during its foundation board meeting tomorrow that a decision be postponed until May.
''This is not a personal issue with Mr Fahey,'' an aide to one of the officials taking part in the meeting told Reuters.
''We will propose to delay the decision until the next WADA meeting in May.'' But Pound said the vote would ahead as planned.
''The foundation board calls for elections of president and vice president, that was the deal,'' Pound said.
''If a group of governments says it wants to delay for reasons that their own guy left -- you picked the wrong candidate, you live with it.''
Pound, who is due to step down as chief on December 31, ruled out staying on as an interim chairman until May.
Europe has five of the 18 public authority seats on WADA -- two seats for Council of Europe members and three for rotating European Union countries-- and provides just under half of the doping watchdog's funding.
Pound said it was unlikely Fahey would not be elected.
''We have 17 governments (including one of the two Council of Europe seats), five of which are European. The maths look easy to me,'' he said.
Fahey, a former Australian finance minister, has little sports management experience but has the backing of one of WADA's main stakeholders -- the International Olympic Committee.
IOC President Jacques Rogge has said Fahey should be given time to prove his capabilities.