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Pound defends WADA over Lamour remarks

Montreal, Oct 19: World Anti-Doping Agency (WADA) head Dick Pound has refuted former French sports minister Jean-Francois Lamour's criticism of the organisation and accused him of running away from a fight he could have won.

Lamour announced on Tuesday he had quit his post as WADA vice-president and withdrawn as a candidate to succeed Pound, who steps down as president at the end of the year.

While making his exit, the former Olympic fencing champion branded WADA as ineffective, saying he did not want to be president of a body that did not have the strength and the dynamism to fight against doping.

''We've got a perfectly good code, a perfectly good organisation,'' Pound told Reuters in a phone interview yesterday.

''I think Europe in general, and France in particular, are going to be so annoyed with this guy at having fought his way into being the candidate for Europe to walk away and leave Europe hanging,'' Pound added.

Lamour was a leading contender to succeed Pound as president until the late candidacy of Australian John Fahey. His decision to quit leaves former Australian finance minister as the lone runner for the November 17 vote in Madrid.

''I just don't understand why he (Lamour) would run from that fight,'' said Pound. ''I would have thought he could have won.

''He's got all of the credentials and the experience as a sports minister and an Olympic athlete.

''He needs a majority of nine votes and he starts off with five votes already from Europe... all he needs is four more votes and he was home free.''


Story first published: Friday, October 19, 2007, 15:09 [IST]
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