World steeplechase champion Emma Coburn has dismissed World Anti-Doping Agency presidential candidate Witold Banka as "another status quo candidate" and "certainly not" what athletes need.

Banka, Poland's sports and tourism minister, is one of only two candidates to declare their interest in replacing Craig Reedie as WADA president when the Scot steps down next November.

The former sprinter has called for the other candidate, Norway's children and equality minister Linda Helleland, to stand down from her current role as WADA vice-president, believing it gives her an unfair advantage.

Banka has also criticised Helleland for attending an anti-doping summit at the White House a fortnight ago.
WADA claimed it was not invited to the event, which condemned the agency's decision in September to lift the Russian Anti-Doping Agency's (RUSADA) three-year ban for facilitating Russia's state-sponsored doping programme.

Helleland was one of only two members on WADA's 12-strong executive committee to vote against the reinstatement - a decision which has infuriated athletes and national anti-doping agencies around the world.

Banka, who is also on the committee, did not attend the meeting and abstained from the vote.

Coburn, who won her world title in London last year and claimed an Olympic bronze medal in Rio, was also at the White House and she is in no doubt which of the two presidential candidates best represents what athletes want.

In a statement, the 28-year-old American said: "I'd like to inform Minister Banka that the WADA vice-president was (at the White House) because she cares and is interested in hearing athletes' concerns and solutions for WADA's future in an authentic forum.

"Reading Minister Banka's remarks in the media ignites athletes' fears that here is another status quo candidate who thinks and acts like the current WADA leadership, who doesn't have interest in reform, who thinks everything is fine.

"From his remarks, one would almost think there had been no state-sponsored doping crisis two years ago. (He) don't seem to grasp the severity of the impact of that scandal, (he) doesn't seem to be in touch with athlete and public opinion.

"If someone can witness the Russia scandals and reinstatement and think WADA is functioning perfectly fine, that person is not who the athlete community needs, and is certainly not what WADA needs. Clean sport deserves better."