Inside Lines: Britain's Reedie Sir Craig lined up to wage new war on doping


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The Independent Online

Britain's Sir Craig Reedie is set to become sport's top drugs-buster. The 72-year-old, who helped mastermind London's successful Olympic bid, is favourite to take over as the new head of the World Anti-Doping Agency (Wada) at a crucial time when, according to the organisation's founding president, Dick Pound, efforts to stop doping in sport are failing.

Pound claimed in London recently that the testing system misses four out of five athletes who dope. The highly regarded Reedie, the former British Olympic Association chairman, is already an executive member of the Wada board and is leading the Evaluation Commission into the bids for the 2020 Olympics on behalf of the International Olympic Committee. His only rival for the role, Switzerland's Denis Oswald, appears to have ruled himself out with his decision to run for the IOC presidency in September.

Wada are due to elect a new president to replace the current incumbent, John Fahey, the former New South Wales premier, in November. Reedie confirms: "This is an appointment made by the Olympic Movement and if asked I would be happy to help."

Heading up Wada is now one of the most significant roles in world sport, with doping an ever-present menace, especially in cycling, where the British Cycling chief, Brian Cookson, is challenging embattled Irishman Pat McQuaid for the UCI presidency.

Call for sir Clive?

The last bell is about to sound in the battle for control of Britain's amateur boxing, but it may not be the end of the fight. UK Sport's deadline for any governance issues to be resolved is tomorrow.

If they are not, some £13 million of public funding for Britain's Olympic boxing programme will be diverted into what is termed a special-purpose vehicle, to be administered by UK Sport. "We are not going to take over boxing but we're going to secure the sport's interests for as long as it takes for the people in power to get their act together and see sense," says UK Sport's new chair, Rod Carr.

With Team GB's three medals in the current European Championships adding to the record Olympic haul last year, any disruption to the elite programme under Rob McCracken caused by the infighting between the British Amateur Boxing Association and the home-nations bodies seems suicidal.

With the BABA boss, Derek Mapp, ousted by "the blazer brigade", UK Sport will insist on another independent chairman as his successor. I suggested here that the former BOA chair Lord Moynihan would be a suitable candidate but he responds: "Thanks, but no thanks." One can understand why. But might another boxing buff, Sir Clive Woodward, be interested once he winds up his media commitments with the British Lions? He loves a good scrap.

Khan's big bash

Most chaps put on a bit of weight once they're wed, so Amir Khan has a handy excuse for moving up to welterweight for his next fight, with IBF champion Devon Alexander the likely December opponent in either Dubai or Las Vegas. A prelude, perhaps, to an unenviable but lucrative crack at Floyd Mayweather.

Khan's sumptuous wedding to American Faryal Makhdoom at New York's Waldorf Astoria last week is said to have cost upwards of $1m. He brings his bride to an even bigger bash in Manchester today for 4,000 guests, who have been asked to sign agreements not to take photos or reveal any details about it because of an exclusive deal with Hello! magazine.