By Nick Butler

Antonio Fernandez Arimany has been announced as the new secretary general of the ITU ©ITUNovember 13 - Spaniard Antonio Fernandez Arimany has been appointed the International Triathlon Union's (ITU) new director general, effectively replacing Canadian Loreen Barnett who is stepping down as chief executive at the end of the year.

With an extensive background in both sporting and financial industries, Arimany has served as the ITU's legal, finance and administrative director since 2010, during which time he was charged with overseeing all economic and legal responsibilities within the organisation.

In his new role, he will continue playing an economic role but will also act as the top administrator and manager of the organisations, and second only in importance to ITU President Marisol Casado, who is also Spanish.

As operational leader of the organisation, Arimany will be tasked with "advising the Executive Board, challenging the employees, and driving entrepreneurial innovation".

In particular he will work with the Executive Board to set the strategic direction of ITU and will report directly to Casado.

Arimany will effectively replace Barnett's chief executive role, although the Canadian will remain as secretary general after being re-elected in October 2012.

A spokesman from the ITU told insidethegames that Barnett will remain involved in the sport and will still attend events and Board meetings despite stepping back from her day-to-day activities.

Arimany will replace Loreen Barnett, pictured here with ITU President Mirisol Casado, as the Canadian steps back from her day to day roleArimany will replace Loreen Barnett, pictured here with ITU President Mirisol Casado, as the Canadian steps back from her day-to-day role ©ITU

This brings to a close a period when triathlon has been the only Olympic sport to have women occupying the two highest profile roles, although Arimany's wide experience deems him a suitable successor.

Over the last three years, these achievements have included minimising legal expenses, establishing offices in Madrid and Lausanne, and creating a legal advisory liaison for Continental Federations.

Before this, he worked for Athens 2004 and later served as managing director of Madrid's unsuccessful bid for the 2016 Olympics and Paralympics.

He is also well qualified in the financial world, holding a PhD in environmental taxation, as well as both business and law degrees.

Casado, who is also an International Olympic Committee (IOC) member, believes that Arimany will be the perfect person to take over.

"While we interviewed excellent candidates for the position, Arimany's extensive experience in the Olympic movement combined with his knowledge of triathlon, as well as expertise in finance and law, made him an excellent choice for the position," she said.

"I'm confident he will continue to positively impact ITU, as he has already done in the last three years."

Arimany will officially take up his new position at the beginning of next month.  

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