World Anti-Doping Agency (WADA) Presidential candidate Linda Helleland has accused rival Witold Bańka of making “offensive” statements and acting in “bad faith” after he called on the Norwegian to step down as vice-president during the campaign.
In a written response to Bańka, seen by insidethegames, Helleland claims the suggestion made by the Polish Sports Minister and WADA Executive Committee member “has the appearance of further political manipulation and interference”.
The development marks the latest in an increasingly-bitter race to succeed Sir Craig Reedie as WADA President.
Bańka, a former elite level athlete, urged the Norwegian to vacate her position as vice-president as he claimed it gives her an unfair advantage in a lengthy statement issued to media yesterday.
He also accused Helleland of contravening “good governance principles” by appearing at a summit at the White House last week, even though she did so in her own personal capacity.
Helleland was initially reticent to respond to Bańka but insidethegames has seen a letter she has written to her fellow Presidential candidate.
The clash comes less than a week before WADA convenes for its Executive Committee and Foundation Board meetings in Baku.