Richard Pound will this week miss his first meeting of the World Anti-Doping Agency (WADA) Foundation Board almost two decades after the organisation was established.
The 77-year-old Canadian will not be present at the gathering in Montreal owing to a family holiday that, insidethegames understands, could not realistically be rescheduled.
The Foundation Board meeting, at the Marriott Château Champlain, will stretch over most of Thursday (May 16), with agenda items including WADA’s governance reforms.
Prior to that, the body’s Executive Committee will meet behind closed doors on Wednesday, when the investigation into alleged bullying of WADA Athlete Committee chairperson Beckie Scott at a fractious meeting last year is expected to be discussed.
Pound, WADA’s first President, is the longest-serving member, or doyen, of the International Olympic Committee (IOC), having been elected 41 years ago.
He is one of four IOC representatives on the 38-member Foundation Board, which is composed equally of members from the Olympic Movement and Governments, and is WADA’s supreme decision-making body.
The other IOC representatives are IOC vice-president and World Archery President Ugur Erdener from Turkey, Jiri Kejval from the Czech Republic and Nenad Lalovic, the United World Wrestling President from Serbia.
This week’s meetings may also produce a clearer idea of who is most likely to take over from Sir Craig Reedie as WADA President later this year.
The public authorities group within WADA is expected to decide who should be its preferred candidate for one of the most taxing posts in sport, with the nod likely to go to either Witold Bańka from Poland or the Dominican Republic’s Marcos Diaz.
WADA vice-president Linda Helleland is widely seen as the outsider of the field.
Under the balanced formula by which WADA conducts its affairs, Sir Craig’s successor will come from the Government sector, as he himself is a sports movement representative.
An outspoken lawyer and Empire and Commonwealth Games gold medal-winning swimmer with unmatched experience of Olympic affairs, Pound chaired the WADA Independent Commission set up in the wake of doping allegations first aired on German television in late 2014.
The latest developments in the long-running Russian doping saga are also expected to be touched on in Montreal this week.