Olympic champ named Swimming Aust CEO

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Olympic champion Alex Baumann has been named the new chief executive of Swimming Australia.

The Canadian, who won gold in the 200m and 400m individual medley at the 1984 Los Angeles Games, replaces Leigh Russell after she vacated the role in November.

Baumann will formally begin the role next month, stepping up from his current position as Swimming Australia's chief strategist.

Swimming Australia president Kieren Perkins said Baumann's strong record in leadership roles at other organisations including Queensland Swimming and Sport New Zealand had played a major role in his appointment.

"He is highly regarded, not just within Swimming Australia, but with all our member organisations and impressed us with his vision for our sport," Perkins said.

"His current role means he already has an important strategic influence on the organisation and we are very excited to see him transition into the CEO role."

Russell, the first woman to hold the role of chief executive at Swimming Australia, left the role less than three years after her appointment in March, 2018.

During her tenure, Russell had to handle the Shayna Jack scandal after the Commonwealth Games gold medallist returned a positive sample for prohibited non-steroid anabolic agent Ligandrol in June 2019.

Tim Dempster, who had been serving as interim CEO since Russell's departure, will return to his role as chief operating officer.

"We are Australia's most successful Olympic sport, but I want to see us become a leading sport within the fabric of the country," Baumann said.