Athletics: Former marine to succeed Jones in UKA role

The big idea for the future of UK Athletics - appointing an all-singing, all-dancing international superstar of an administrator - was consigned to the realm of fantasy yesterday with the announcement that the outgoing performance director, Max Jones, would be replaced by Professor Dave Collins, a sports psychologist.

The big idea for the future of UK Athletics - appointing an all-singing, all-dancing international superstar of an administrator - was consigned to the realm of fantasy yesterday with the announcement that the outgoing performance director, Max Jones, would be replaced by Professor Dave Collins, a sports psychologist.

In appointing the 50-year-old former Royal Marine, UKA has ended a search during which the high-profile likes of Keith Connor and Charles van Commeneedropped out of contention.

Sir Andrew Foster, in his report in May, urged an "all-out campaign to recruit the best individual the world has to offer" and said the post should be filled by someone with "leadership qualities of the highest order and a profound knowledge of the sport."

Collins, based at the University of Edinburgh, hardly fits the bill, but he is a well-regarded operator who has worked with top British athletes for 10 years.

"There isn't one person who can do everything," he said. 'The only man I know who can do everything wears his underpants on the outside and has a large S on his chest."

¿ The International Olympic Committee yesterday opened an investigation into the doping allegations against Marion Jones. A disciplinary commission will look into the claims made by Victor Conte, head of the California-based lab that allegedly provided drugs to elite athletes.

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