Independent Testing Authority a step closer as director general sought
Various - 12 Oct 2017
A proposed new independent testing authority for doping in sport is a step closer to becoming a reality after an advertisement appeared on a recruitment agency website for a director general for the agency, which is described as “a new Swiss Foundation established by the International Olympic Committee (IOC) in close cooperation with the Olympic Movement and the World Anti-Doping Agency (WADA).”
The agency (which will be based in Lausanne, home of the IOC) is the brainchild of Thomas Bach, the IOC president. It was proposed by Bach in the face of criticism that the international federations, which are responsible for testing in their sports, are vulnerable to a conflict of interest in both policing and promoting their sports, albeit use of the authority’s services will not be compulsory for federations.
The advertisement says of the agency: “Its purpose is to contribute to the protection of clean athletes as well as the integrity of sport worldwide through the fight against doping in sport. To that end, the ITA is providing independent, comprehensive doping control and other related services, including doping controls as defined in the World Anti-Doping Code. This portfolio includes: out-of-competition testing, in-competition testing, test distribution plans, results management, athletes’ whereabouts information management, Therapeutic Use Exemptions management & panel approval.”
The role is described as follows:
• “Contribute to and implement the ITA’s strategic plan in accordance with the ITA Board instructions;
• “Provide strategic advice, assistance and regular reporting to the Foundation Board;
• “Propose and update an operational plan to deliver the strategic objectives of the Foundation;
• “Manage effectively the daily operations of the Foundation, the conduct of all its activities and the actual administration of its assets.
Competences required include:
• “Strong stakeholder management skills and ability to forge effective relationships at all levels;
• “Capacity to build and maintain trust as well a quality and balanced relationship with the ITA Foundation Board;
• “Confirmed skills in internal, external and public communications.
Other requirements include:
• “A first-class professional with a university background in management, or equivalent, and successful track record at the most senior levels in a complex, international and highly visible organisation;
• “Proven track record in a high-profile, global environment where multiple stakeholders and brand image have a strong impact;
• “Proven experience for at least 5 years in the field of anti-doping and/or international sport;
• “Good knowledge and understanding of the World of Sports (Olympic Movement, IFs and MEOs);
• “Track record of dealing with IFs and MEO.”
More details can be found here.
Richard Budgett, the IOC’s medical chief, told reporters in the summer that the ITA would be in place in time for the PyeongChang winter Olympic Games in February next year.
He said: “We will assist it but [testing] in PyeongChang will be under the authority of the ITA. It will be there in Pyeongchang, even if in a preliminary form.
“Responsibility will be passed to the ITA. The resources of the IOC will be there at their disposal.”
Budgett said that the ITA would not be in a position to take over testing from the international federations by the time of the games.
Some international federations, including soccer’s Fifa, are opposed to the independent testing authority plan.
The IOC and WADA themselves came under heavy fire in the wake of the doping crisis that engulfed Russian sport, over perceived conflicts of interest that, it has been suggested, could lead to certain sports or certain athletes being favoured in the anti-doping process.