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Last Updated: Wednesday, 5 October 2005, 12:38 GMT 13:38 UK
Moynihan named new BOA chairman
Outgoing BOA chairman Craig Reedie (left) and Lord Moynihan
Moynihan (right) succeeds Reedie (left)
Former sports minister Lord Moynihan has been chosen as the new chairman of the British Olympic Association.

The Conservative peer was voted in ahead of 1968 Olympic hurdles champion David Hemery by 28 votes to 15.

Moynihan, 50, said: "It's a very great honour to represent the governing bodies of sport as chairman of the BOA.

"With a strong team in place we intend to generate a financial and sporting legacy for UK Olympic governing bodies which befits a host Olympic nation."

I am convinced that [Moynihan's] enthusiasm, leadership and passion for sport will enable the BOA to meet the challenges we face in the build-up to the London Olympics
Simon Clegg
BOA chief executive
Moynihan takes over from Scotland's Craig Reedie, who has been at the BOA's helm for 13 years. Reedie will remain a British representative on the International Olympic Committee (IOC).

Moynihan will serve an initial three-year term while Hemery will continue in his role as vice chairman.

The 28 summer Olympic and seven winter Olympic sports each had a vote as well as individual members of the BOA.

BOA chief executive Simon Clegg said: "I am extremely excited at the prospect of working with Colin Moynihan to deliver the vision of the Olympic governing bodies at this critical time in our history.

"I have known Colin for nearly 20 years now and am convinced that his enthusiasm, leadership and passion for sport will enable the BOA to make the necessary step-change to meet the challenges we face in the build-up to the London Olympic Games in 2012."

Moynihan's success will cause some disquiet in Whitehall after his criticisms of Government sports policy, especially as he will now play a key role in the preparations for the London Olympics.

With Moynihan's friend Lord Coe already the chairman of London 2012, it means there are now two Conservative peers in senior positions connected with a Games which the government wants to be seen as a New Labour legacy.

However, Olympics Minister Tessa Jowell said: "I congratulate Lord Moynihan on his election as chairman of the British Olympic Association.

I believe that independence continues to be regarded as a high priority by BOA members
Lord Moynihan

"The close co-operation between government, the mayor (of London Ken Livingtone) and the BOA was a key factor in our success in Singapore and I hope this spirit of partnership continues during the next seven years."

Moynihan will be one of four members of the all-powerful Olympic Board for 2012 along with Coe, Jowell and Livingstone.

Moynihan has promised to step down from politics and has pointed to his participation in the 1980 Olympics as evidence of his ability to remain independent.

The then Prime Minister Margaret Thatcher failed to persuade the BOA to boycott the Games and Moynihan, who became her sports minister seven years later, took part and won a silver medal as the cox to the men's rowing eight.

Moynihan, who had the sports minister job from 1987 to 1990, said: "The BOA has always proudly defended its independence and I was very much a beneficiary of that in 1980.

"I believe that independence continues to be regarded as a high priority by BOA members."

There will have to be some bridge-building by Moynihan, who two weeks ago published the results of an independent sports review he chaired with Kate Hoey MP which was almost completely opposed to current government policy.



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