Coe to become BOA chairman
6:29pm Tuesday 16th October 2012 in © Press Association 2014
Sebastian Coe will be elected unopposed to be the next British Olympic Association chairman after his only opponent withdrew from the contest.
Richard Leman, the head of British hockey, had faced an almost impossible task against Lord Coe after the success of the London 2012 Games.
It means Coe will be elected unopposed on November 7 to succeed Lord Moynihan at the helm of the BOA.
Coe looked unbeatable on the back of delivering the London Olympics and will have immense pulling power to bring in sponsors to aid the cash-strapped BOA. Leman had canvassed opinion from leading figures in the British Olympic movement, most of whom advised him to withdraw gracefully.
Leman, an Olympic gold medal-winner in men's hockey at the 1988 Seoul Games, said: "Recognising the unique circumstance in which we find ourselves in having the person who led the organisation and delivery of what is widely regarded as the most successful Olympic and Paralympic Games in history standing for election as our next chair, I have decided to put my full support behind Seb Coe and his candidacy.
"The opportunities and challenges we face during the next four years are unprecedented, and from my position as a member of board of directors, I will continue to work closely with our next chair, my colleagues on the board, the national Olympic committee and our staff to meet those challenges.
"Having had the opportunity to compete for Team GB at the Olympic Games, I have always viewed my service to the BOA as an opportunity to give something back to British sport by making certain subsequent generations of athletes benefit from the same life-changing experiences I enjoyed."
Leman is now expected to stand for a BOA vice-chairman position next year.
Moynihan, understood to have initially encouraged Leman to stand, said: "The British Olympic Association is in the enviable position of being able to attract accomplished leaders such as Richard Leman and Seb Coe to serve on its board.
"It is with leadership of this calibre that the BOA is well-placed to build upon its recent successes and continue making an important difference for British athletes as they pursue their Olympic dreams."