March 14, 2023

World Anti-Doping Agency Names First Ombuds and Adopts IOA Standards

WADA, the international foundation that coordinates the fight against drugs in sports, has selected Anna Thorstenson, as its first Athletes’ Anti-Doping Ombuds. For a one-year pilot period, she will provide dispute resolution assistance to athletes bound by anti-doping rules under the World Anti-Doping Code. The position was created as part of a range of governance reforms implemented last year. Terms of Reference for the position, make it clear that the WADA Ombuds will generally practice to IOA standards. Notable exceptions to the Ombuds' confidentiality include: "A matter that requires affirmative reporting by law;" or "To the extent necessary, if a party files a claim or complaint against the Ombuds or its staff, or her/his staff, alleging professional misconduct in the exercise of her duties."

Thorstenson is an attorney with significant experience in the anti-doping field. For the past seven years, she has been legal counsel for the International Federation for Equestrian Sports (Fédération Équestre Internationale) in Lausanne, Switzerland. She has also worked as an attorney for sports organizations in Sweden and Norway. She graduated from St. Andrews University and earned an LLM at the University of Lund. She is fluent in at least six languages. (WADA News, Ombuds Terms of Ref; LinkedIn.)

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