Role of the Independent Ethics Board
The World Anti-Doping Agency (WADA) was established in 1999 as an international independent agency composed and funded by the Sports Movement and governments of the world. WADA Officials are expected to observe the highest ethical standards and avoid improper influences or conflicts of interest that would undermine their ability to act in the best interest of WADA.
In 2018 WADA’s Foundation Board approved wide-ranging governance reforms, and in 2021 approved a Code of Ethics, recognising the importance of ensuring these high standards and establishing clear ethical standards over the activities of WADA Officials (as defined in the WADA Code of Ethics). These reforms included the creation of an Independent Ethics Board (IEB) and an Ethics Officer position, both charged with the responsibility of implementing the WADA Code of Ethics.
Functions and Powers
The IEB is considered a corporate body of WADA, but operates independently from WADA’s other bodies, such as its Foundation Board and the Executive Committee. WADA Governance Structure can be found here.
The IEB performs its duties as stated in the WADA Code of Ethics, and has power to communicate directly with any Official or body within WADA.
The IEB has power to appoint the Ethics Officer and may submit complaints to the Ethics Officer for investigation. The IEB considers the results of investigations by the Ethics Officer regarding complaints, denunciations, allegations or suspicions of breaches of the ethical principles of WADA and the WADA Code of Ethics. An IEB-appointed panel forms judgement on whether matters involve a breach, can impose a range of measures and sanctions, and communicates such decisions to the WADA President, to the complainant, and to the Official subject of the investigation.
The IEB also has power to decide whether a matter should be referred to a relevant criminal authority.
Deliberations of the IEB remain confidential.
The IEB consists of nine persons, including its Chair. Appointment to, and removal from, the IEB is decided by the WADA Foundation Board. Two IEB Members are appointed by the Public Authorities and the Olympic Movement. Members appointed by the Public Authorities and Olympic Movement may not be appointed to the position of Chair or Vice-Chair. The seven other IEB Members must meet the strictest of WADA’s independence requirements on appointment and throughout the entire term of their office.
Appointments to the IEB are for a term of three years and Members may be reappointed for two further terms of three years, provided that they continue to meet the relevant eligibility criteria. A Member may not serve for more than nine years in total.
The IEB meets as required by the Chair, and shall provide periodic reports on its activities, at a minimum of twice a year, to the President of WADA who will share the reports with the Foundation Board and the Executive Committee.
The inaugural, and current members of the IEB are:
Prof. Mette HartlevDenmark – Independent Chair
- Law professor
- Chair of the Danish National Committee of Research Ethics in Health Sciences
- Former Chair of the Board of Directors of Anti-Doping Denmark
Hon. Mary Ang’awaKenya – Independent Vice-Chair
- Former Kenyan High Court Judge and Chief Magistrate, anti-corruption court
- Arbitrator, mentor with the Chartered Institute of Arbitration (UK)
Prof. Pascal BorryBelgium – Independent Member
- Professor of Bioethics at Leuven University’s Faculty of Medicine
- Former Deputy Chair of WADA’s Ethics Expert Group (2016-2020)
Mr. Phil HutchinsonUnited Kingdom – Independent Member
- Lawyer specialized in sports litigation, regulatory and integrity work
- Trustee of Sport Birmingham
Ms. Regina LaBelleUSA – Public Authorities Nominee
- Lawyer and senior public policy professional
- Director of the Addiction and Public Policy Initiative at the O’Neill Institute for National and Global Health Law at Georgetown University
- Former acting Director of the Office of National Drug Control Policy
Mr. Sal Perna AMAustralia – Independent Member
- 40+ years of experience working against crime and corruption, ranging from public sector law enforcement to the corporate and private sectors
- 16 years specializing in sports integrity
- Appointed as the first Racing Integrity Commissioner in Australia
- Board Member of the International Tennis Integrity Agency; Panel Member of Australia’s National Sports Tribunal; Board Member of Australia’s National Basketball League Advisory Board
- Awarded a Member of the Order of Australia (AM), in the Queen’s Birthday Honours, 2019
Dr. Rožle PrezeljSlovenia – Independent Member
- Three-time Olympian in athletics (jumping)
- PhD in Sports Law
- Sport Ombudsman, Slovenia
Mr. Marc TheisenLuxembourg – Olympic Movement Nominee
- Sports arbitrator
- President of the Sports and Legal Commission of the European Olympic Committees
Ms. Ana TuiketeiFiji - Independent Member
- CAS arbitrator
- Member of sports judicial and disciplinary committees
WADA Code of Ethics
WADA Officials must comply with all applicable laws and regulations and respect the WADA ethical principles. Officials must conduct themselves honestly, fairly, and impartially, and act in accordance with the principles of integrity and transparency. Officials must also act with objectivity, and independence when making decisions.
The WADA Code of Ethics identifies a list of ethical standards and conducts which include, but are not limited to:
- Avoiding bias, prejudice, and conflicts of interest
- Respecting human dignity
- Rejecting and refraining from discrimination, harassment, bullying and abuse
- Refraining from offering or accepting a bribe, payment, commission, gift, or other inducement or undue incentive (whether monetary or otherwise) in order to unduly influence any action, conduct, omission, or decision in connection with any matter relating to, or involving, WADA
- Refraining from behaviour which would bring, or risk bringing, WADA into disrepute
The fundamental principles of the WADA Code of Ethics are detailed in Section 3 thereof. Among other duties, Officials must report immediately to the Ethics Officer (i) any approach or invitation to engage in any conduct that might amount to a breach of the WADA Code of Ethics and (ii) any information that may constitute a potential breach of the WADA Code of Ethics.
The Ethics Officer
The Ethics Officer is appointed, and subject to removal, by the IEB. The IEB conducts the appointment process in collaboration with the WADA Nominations Committee, including the interview and vetting of candidates.
The Ethics Officer is appointed for a three-year, renewable term. The reappointment is limited to two additional three-year terms and the Ethics Officer cannot serve more than nine years in total.
The Ethics Officer:
- Acts independently of WADA and reports directly to the Chair of the IEB.
- Performs their duties as assigned by the WADA Code of Ethics, and whenever a case is referred to them and/or when instructed by the IEB, but not ex-officio.
- Upon receiving a complaint, analyses the jurisdiction of the IEB based on the scope of application of the WADA Code of Ethics; decides what measures are required to protect the identity of the complainant; and conducts relevant investigations. Investigations may include analyzing documents, files and other hardcopy and electronic information, requesting the provision of such information, conducting interviews, and obtaining relevant expert reports. At the conclusion of the investigation, the Ethics Officer will provide a detailed written report to the Chair of the IEB.
Mr. Gautier Aubert
The inaugural Ethics Officer, Mr. Gautier Aubert, was appointed by the IEB in early 2023 and is a Swiss Attorney-at-Law with broad experience in the world of sports and sports law. Confidential reports can be made on the WADA Ethics Reporting Platform, a confidential and independent reporting platform managed by the Ethics Officer. You can also submit a report by email to the Ethics Officer at Ethics.Officer@wada-ama.org.
Mr. Gautier AubertEthics Officer
- Attorney-at-Law admitted to the Neuchatel (CH) Bar
- FEI Tribunal Clerk
- Former FIFA's Head of Ethics
What matters can be reported under the WADA Code of Ethics?
Why report matters?
Is there a duty to report?
Are reports confidential?
Can reports be made anonymously?
How can I submit a report?
What happens after I provide information or submit a report?
Questions and Answers
What is the jurisdiction of the WADA Independent Ethics Board (IEB)?
What is the composition of the IEB?
How are IEB Members selected?
What are the duties of the IEB?
How is the Ethics Officer appointed?
What are the qualifications of the Ethics Officer?
What are the duties of the Ethics Officer?
Does the WADA Code of Ethics apply to WADA staff, including the Director General and WADA Management?
What are the fundamental principles of the WADA Code of Ethics?
What are some examples of specific actions prohibited under the WADA Code of Ethics?
Are there exceptions for gifts?
Does the WADA Code of Ethics have any requirements for reporting?
Can sanctions be applied if someone is found in breach of the WADA Code Ethics?
Is the process confidential?
How can I report a suspected breach of the WADA Code of Ethics?