Golden 25: #7 -- A New Anti-Doping Sheriff Arrives

(ATR) A change in leadership is coming for the World Anti-Doping Agency in 2019.

(ATR) The leadership of the World Anti-Doping Agency is about to change later this year. After six years of leadership by IOC member Craig Reedie as a representative of sports, the governments represented on the WADA get their turn to select a chair.

Two candidates have emerged so far, Linda Helleland, Norwegian sports minister and Poland WADA representative Wtold Banka. Helleland, who could be the front runner, is a critic of the way the agency has handled the Russian doping scandal.

While the election will take place in November, in between WADA will have to contend with issues remaining from its provisional recognition of Russia after three years of sanctions. More data is still required after this month’s visit by a WADA inspection team. Outstanding issues like this could lead to reinstatement of a Russian ban.

Outspoken opponents of WADA’s handling of the Russia situation who will be heard in 2019 include U.S. Anti-Doping Agency chair Edwin Moses and CEO Travis Tygart.

IAAF Sebastian Coe leads the biggest federation which has yet to reestablish recognition of its banned Russian federation.

A big development in 2019 will be the operation of the new International Testing Agency headed by Valerie Fourneyron. The hopes are high for the ITA which will remove the responsibility of testing athletes from federations to the independently operated organization.

IOC VP and chair of the Medical and Scientific Commission, Ugur Erdener will be a key player in the year ahead as WADA prepares for its World Congress and election.

The Around the Rings Golden 25 is the annual survey of individuals who will have the most influence for the Olympic Movement in the year ahead. First published in 1997, this is the 22nd edition.

Reported by Ed Hula.