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Athletics: De Vos named UK athletics chief

UK Athletics yesterday offered further proof that it means business in the run-up to the Beijing 2008 and London 2012 Olympics by announcing that Niels de Vos will succeed Dave Moorcroft as chief executive.

Like Ed Warner, who was appointed to the new, overarching role of UKA chairman three weeks ago, De Vos comes from a commercial rather than a sporting background, although he has been at the heart of sporting endeavours over the past eight years in his roles as commercial director of the 2002 Manchester Commonwealth Games and, since 2003, chief executive of Sale Sharks rugby union club.

De Vos will take up his post in May and the 39-year-old said: "I am thrilled and honoured to have been entrusted with the role of chief executive of UK Athletics. Athletics has long been a passion of mine. Our focus needs to be on the detail that can make a difference both at the performance level and across our organisation."

Lord Sebastian Coe, chairman of the London Organising Committee of the Olympic Games and a member of the recruitment panel, said: "This is a crucial time in the run-up to London 2012. Clear leadership is needed at the top of the organisation to ensure that the right support structures are put in place. Niels has an impressive background and I look forward to working with him."