The World Anti-Doping Authority (WADA) has confirmed former French sports minister Valérie Fourneyron as the chair of the newly formed Independent Testing Authority (ITA), a body which will oversee drug testing procedures across international sport.
The ITA will operate separately from any sporting body, though its function will remain the preservation of integrity in sports, providing doping controls and other related services to international federations and major event organisations.
Fourneyron, a former volleyball player and a qualified doctor, will bring 30 years of anti-doping experience to the role. Her appointment was ratified by the WADA executive committee after she received support from key figures within both the International Olympic Committee (IOC) and WADA itself.
IOC vice president Uğur Erdener, who is also the president of both World Archery and the Turkish Olympic Committee, will serve as the IOC's representative on the ITA board.
The president of the Association of Summer Olympic International Federations (ASOIF), Francesco Ricci Bitti, will join the board as the international federations representative, while the IOC Athletes' Committee will have representation in the form of Zimbabwean swimmer Kirsty Coventry.
Prof Dr Peijie Chen, president of the Shanghai Institute of Physical Education, joins as an independent member and completes the initial five-person board.
The daily operations of the ITA will be managed by an as-yet unnamed director general, though that appointment is expected shortly, as the IOC has confirmed its intention to fully incorporate the ITA ahead of the 2018 Winter Olympic and Paralympic Games in PyeongChang, South Korea, which begin in February next year.
“The ratification of the ITA Board membership represents a key milestone for the creation of the Independent Testing Authority," said Thomas Bach, president of the IOC. "With this step, the pace is set for the ITA to become operational and to start working with a number of international federations and major event organisations. The IOC will benefit from the advantages of the ITA already at the Olympic Winter Games PyeongChang 2018.”