WADA announces Athlete Engagement program teams for Paris 2024

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Athlete-led teams are set to promote clean sport 

Today, the World Anti-Doping Agency (WADA) is pleased to share its plan to promote clean sport directly with the athletes competing at the upcoming 2024 Olympic and Paralympic Games (Paris 2024) in Paris, France. Together, both events will feature more than 14,000 athletes representing in excess of 200 National Olympic and Paralympic Committees. 

WADA’s Athlete Engagement (AE) teams will be stationed in the Athlete Village of Paris 2024 to deliver the ‘One Play True Team’ campaign, which aims to raise awareness about doping-free sport.  

WADA’s Head of Athlete Engagement, Karine Henrie, said: “WADA’s Athlete Engagement program, which raises awareness about doping-free sport, has proved beneficial to countless athletes since 2001. WADA is appreciative of the International Olympic Committee and International Paralympic Committee’s invitation to be on site to connect directly with athletes and others throughout the Games. Paris 2024 will mark the first time in this program’s history that it will be entirely athlete-led. I am confident that our teams, with their diverse backgrounds and extensive knowledge and experience as athletes with clean sport, will enrich the Games-time experience of every athlete, coach and support personnel member that they meet.” 

The Olympic and Paralympic Athlete Engagement teams outlined below, which include representatives from 12 countries across five different continents, are comprised of athlete leaders from various athlete representative bodies.  

Olympic Games Athlete Engagement Team:

Ms. Escobar said: “I am honored to be part of WADA’s Athlete Engagement team for Paris 2024. The Olympic and Paralympic Games can be daunting, especially for those participating for the first time. Our athlete-led team is ready to connect with athletes and support personnel to build awareness and understanding of clean sport. 

“Nearly a decade ago, I was an athlete being exposed to the anti-doping process for the first time and a similar WADA Athlete Engagement program was made available to me.  The interactions that I had with those who had been in my position before put me at ease. That’s why this program is so important. This kind of resource can make a marked impact on an athlete’s experience at the Games and also as they navigate their anti-doping rights and responsibilities in the future.” 

As part of WADA’s Athlete Engagement program at the Olympic Games, the International Testing Agency will also integrate Olympian Nikki Hamblin, a member of its education team, within WADA’s Athlete Engagement team. Ms. Hamblin will be on hand to provide guidance and support for any education questions that come up during the program.   

Mr. Ćosić said: “I am excited to get to Paris for what promises to be incredible Olympic and Paralympic Games. In my view, speaking to athletes directly is the best way for them to share their experiences with the anti-doping process and WADA’s Athlete Engagement program is set up to make this happen.”  

In addition to the Athlete Engagement teams, there will be several members of WADA’s Athlete Council at Paris 2024, namely: 

  • Ms. Gaby Ahrens (Namibia), three-time Olympian (sport shooting) and Vice-Chair of WADA’s Athlete Council; 

  • Mr. Iñaki Gomez (Canada), two-time Olympian (race walking), member of WADA’s Athlete Council and member of WADA’s Independent Observer team at the 2024 Olympic Games; 

  • Ms. Zhang Hong (China), two-time Olympian (speed skating), Olympic gold medalist, member of WADA’s Athlete Council and IOC Athletes’ Commission;  

  • Mr. Humphrey Kayange (Kenya), Olympian (rugby), member of WADA’s Athlete Council and IOC Athletes’ Commission; 

  • Ms. Kristen Kit (Canada), Olympic gold-medalist and Paralympic bronze-medalist (rowing), and member of WADA’s Athlete Council; 

  • Mr. Patrick O’Leary (Ireland), two-time Paralympian (paracanoe), member of WADA’s Athlete Council and Foundation Board, and Member of the Independent Observer team at the 2024 Paralympic Games; 

  • Mr. Ryan Pini (New Guinea), four-time Olympian (swimming), Chair of WADA’s Athlete Council and Papua New Guinea Chef de Mission for Paris 2024; 

  • Ms. Ella Sabljak (Australia), Paralympian (wheelchair basketball and rugby), member of the Paralympics Australia Athlete Commission and member of WADA’s Athlete Council; 

  • Ms. Emma Terho (Finland), five-time Olympian (ice hockey), two-time Olympic bronze medalist, member of WADA’s Athlete Council and Chair of the IOC Athletes Commission; 

  • Ms. Jitske Visser (Netherlands), four-time Paralympian (wheelchair basketball), Paralympic gold medalist, member of WADA’s Athlete Council and Chair of the IPC Athlete Commission; and 

  • Ms. Maja Włoszczowska (Poland), four-time Olympian (mountain biking), two-time silver medalist, member of WADA’s Athlete Council and IOC Athletes’ Commission. 

Ms. Henrie continued: “We are very proud to highlight that a number of Athlete Council members will be competing at the Games. Kristen Kit will be looking to defend Canada’s Olympic gold medal in rowing, while Jitske Visser of the Netherlands and Ella Sabljak of Australia will be representing their countries in Wheelchair Basketball and Wheelchair Rugby respectively. On behalf of the WADA team, I wish them all great success!”  

Along with Ms. Henrie, the Athlete Engagement team will also be supported by a number of other WADA staff members that will include: 

  • Ms. Léa Réguer-Petit (France), Senior Manager, Sport Movement Relations; 

  • Ms. Stacy Spletzer-Jegen (USA), Senior Manager, Athlete Engagement; and 

  • Ms. Laetitia Zumbrunnen (Switzerland), Senior Manager, Sport Movement Relations.