Athlete Council

To replace current Athlete Committee as of 1 January 2023

[Page updated: 8 September 2022]

Background

Since 2016, the World Anti-Doping Agency (WADA) has been undergoing a series of governance reforms, including many that are aimed at strengthening athletes’ representation within the Agency.

As part of its Final Report, the Working Group on the Review of WADA Governance Reforms recommended the creation of a 20-member WADA Athlete Council to replace the current 12-member WADA Athlete Committee. The recommendation was unanimously approved by the WADA Foundation Board (Board) in May 2022.

The new Athlete Council will represent, support and promote the voices of athletes on anti-doping matters; and will be the avenue for athletes, chosen by athletes, to assume important seats within WADA’s governing bodies. Specifically:

  • the Council Chair will be appointed to WADA’s Executive Committee (ExCo);
  • two members will have seats on WADA’s Board (with at least one coming from paralympic sport); and
  • the Council will be in charge of appointing athlete representatives to other WADA bodies.

WADA President Witold Bańka said: “By establishing a new and reformed Athlete Council, we are making a significant step forward with respect to direct athlete involvement within the governance of WADA. By 2023, the Athlete Council Chair will sit on WADA’s Executive Committee, and two Council members will sit on the Foundation Board. This is in line with WADA’s 2020-2024 Strategic Plan, which commits to ensuring that our activities and priorities are more athlete-centered. As a former athlete, I fully understand the importance of listening to the views of athletes worldwide and addressing matters that are of most interest to them.” 

Council Composition

On the recommendation of the Working Group on the Review of WADA Governance Reforms, the Athlete Council will be composed of three groups of athlete representatives.

  • Group 1: Five athletes appointed by the International Olympic Committee’s (IOC’s) and International Paralympic Committee’s (IPC’s) Athlete Commissions;
  • Group 2: Eight athletes elected by the Athlete Commissions of International Federations (IFs); and
  • Group 3: Seven other athletes, to be selected by an appointment panel made up by a majority of athletes, to fill skills and diversity gaps.

The following table will be updated as Members are confirmed:

Group 1: Announced in early September 2022

 

Name

Athlete Commission

Sport

Country

1

KAYANGE, Humphrey

IOC

Rugby (Rugby Sevens)

Kenya

2

TERHO, Emma

IOC

Ice Hockey

Finland

3

VISSER, Jitske

IPC

Wheelchair Basketball

Netherlands

4

WŁOSZCZOWSKA, Maja Martyna

IOC

Cycling (Mountain Bike)

Poland

5

ZHANG, Hong

IOC

Skating (Speed Skating)

China

Group 2: Announced in early September 2022

 

Name

Sport Nationality

Nominating International Federation Athlete Commission

6

ĆOSIĆ, Ivan

Croatia

World ParaVolley (WPV)

7

EGAN, Clare

USA

International Biathlon Union (IBU)

8

HARSS, Jennifer

Germany

International Ice Hockey Federation (IIHF)

9

HEGYI, Dora

Hungary

International Gymnastics Federation (FIG)

10

KIT, Kristen

Canada

World Rowing (WR-FISA)

11

RISKALLA, Rodolpho

Brazil

Federation Equestre Internationale (FEI)

12

SABLJAK, Ella

Australia

International Wheelchair Basketball Federation (IWBF)

13

ZECCIHNI, Alessia

Italy

World Underwater Federation (CMAS)

Group 3: Anticipated to be announced in mid-December 2022 

 

Name

Sport

Country

14

                                       

                                                                        

                                            

15

 

 

 

16

 

 

 

17

 

 

 

18

 

 

19    
20    

Process and Timeline to form inaugural Athlete Council

Group 1 - representatives will be appointed by the Athlete Commissions of the International Olympic Committee and International Paralympic Committee by the end of August 2022.

Group 2 - representatives will be elected by their peers in a vote to take place from 29 August to 4 September 2022, following a campaign period running from 1-26 August.

All athlete candidates who wish to be considered for Group 2 election must have had their candidatures submitted to governance@wada-ama.org by Friday, 15 July 2022.

Eligibility requirements, the procedure to submit candidates, and other information regarding the election are contained in the Athlete Council Election Procedure.

The profiles of the 34 candidates in the election can be found here.

For Group 3, WADA will issue a public call for candidates in September 2022 that will set out the deadline by which candidates need to submit their application, the eligibility criteria, required documents for the candidate, and all other required information. The call will highlight the skills and diversity criteria that are being sought.

Group 3 hopefuls will be assessed by an Appointment Panel before successful candidates will be informed of their selection in December 2022.

Group 1

Steps: 

IOC and IPC ACs appoint members                                                                                                                         By end of August

Group 2

Steps: 

Introductory email sent by WADA to all IF ACs 31 May
Deadline to submit candidatures 15 July
Review of candidatures by the Election Scrutineer 18 to 27 July
Confirmation of the official list of candidates 28 July
Election procedure email sent by WADA informing all IF ACs of the official list of candidates, voting procedure and dates of the election 29 July
Campaigning period 1 to 26 August
Vote 29 August to 4 September
Confirmation of elected candidates by the Election Committee/ Scrutineer 5 September
Successful candidates informed and advised of first meeting to appoint a member to the Appointment Panel 6 September

Group 3

Steps: 

Public call for Interest (for Group 3) – general list of skills listed

6 to 30 September

Group 1 and Group 2 meet to appoint members to the Appointment Panel Week of 12 or 19 September
Panel meet to determine process, including development of assessment of skills and diversity of Groups 1 and 2 Week of 19 or 26 September
Review, interview process etc. including consultation with WADA President 30 September to 9 December
Successful candidates advised Week 12 December

Other Reference Materials

In addition to the Frequently Asked Questions below, please see the following reference materials for further information:

It should be noted that Terms of Reference will be developed by the Athlete Council once established.

Should you have any additional questions, please feel free to direct them to governance@wada-ama.org.

Frequently Asked Questions