WADA announces candidates appointed or elected to 2023 Athlete Council

World Anti-Doping Agency issues call for Group 3 candidates 07 Sep 2022
White lab coats hang on the wall in an anti-doping laboratory.
WADA has announced the athletes who were appointed or elected to the 2023 Athlete Council, including four Paralympians.
ⒸOli Scarff/Getty Images

Further to the World Anti-Doping Agency’s (WADA’s) communications of 30 May 2022 and 15 August 2022 regarding the Agency’s new 20-member Athlete Council, WADA is pleased to announce the five members appointed by the International Olympic Committee’s (IOC’s) and International Paralympic Committee’s (IPC’s) Athlete Commissions (referred to as Group 1); as well as, the eight members declared elected by the Election Scrutineer (referred to as Group 2).

WADA is also issuing a call for seven other athletes (referred to as Group 3), to be selected by the Athlete Council Appointment Panel.

In summary, the Athlete Council will be composed of athletes’ representatives chosen by athletes and grouped as follows:

  • Group 1: Five athletes appointed by the International Olympic Committee’s and International Paralympic Committee’s Athlete Commissions;
  • Group 2: Eight athletes elected by the Athlete Commissions of International Federations (IFs); and
  • Group 3: Seven other athletes, to be selected by the Athlete Council Appointment Panel (“Panel”) made up by a majority of athletes, to fill skills and diversity gaps.

WADA President Witold Bańka said,: "On behalf of WADA, I would like to extend our congratulations to the 13 new members for Groups 1 and 2 of the Agency’s Athlete Council. With this announcement, we are one step closer to our Athlete Council being realised, which is an exciting prospect for everyone involved. We were pleased to see that the Group 2 election ran smoothly and we are confident that the appointment process for Group 3 of the Athlete Council will follow suit."
The five athletes appointed by the IOC’s and IPC’s Athlete Commissions are listed below in alphabetical order by last name.

  Name Athlete Commission Sport Country  
1 KAYANGE, Humphrey IOC Rugby (Rugby Sevens) Kenya  
2 TERHO, Emma IOC Ice Hockey Finland  
3 VISSER, Jitske IPC Wheelchair Basketball Netherlands  
4 WŁOSZCZOWSKA, Maja Martyna IOC Cycling (Mountain Bike) Poland  
5 ZHANG, Hong IOC Skating (Speed Skating) China  

The eight newly elected athlete members are listed below in alphabetical order by last name.

The election was held in two rounds as three candidates were tied in the first round for the last two available positions. A total of 59 out of 61 Athlete Commissions of IFs voted in the first round (96.7% participation rate) and 45 in the second round (73,8% participation rate). 

  Name Sport Nationality Nominating International Federation Athlete Commission
1 ĆOSIĆ, Ivan Croatia World ParaVolley (WPV)
2 EGAN, Clare USA International Biathlon Union (IBU)
3 HARSS, Jennifer Germany International Ice Hockey Federation (IIHF)
4 HEGYI, Dora Hungary International Gymnastics Federation (FIG)
5 KIT, Kristen Canada World Rowing (WR-FISA)
6 RISKALLA, Rodolpho Brazil Federation Equestre Internationale (FEI)
7 SABLJAK, Ella Australia International Wheelchair Basketball Federation (IWBF)
8 ZECCHINI, Alessia Italy World Underwater Federation (CMAS)


On 18 May 2022, WADA’s Executive Committee adopted the procedural rules governing the appointment procedure for the seven Group 3 athletes to be selected by the appointment panel.

The Group 3 rules were drafted in consultation with WADA’s current Athlete Committee and include:

  • eligibility criteria for candidates;
  • application procedure for candidates;
  • procedural steps for setting up the Athlete Council Appointment Panel;
  • appointment criteria;
  • inaugural appointment procedure; and
  • protection of personal information.


To be eligible to apply, athletes are required to meet eligibility criteria, as outlined in Article 3 of WADA’s Athlete Council Appointment Procedure. These include: 

  • Being an International-Level Athlete as defined by the World Anti-Doping Code (Code);
  • Being bound by the Code; and
  • Meeting the two criteria above within the last nine years before taking office for the first time.

A candidate who stood on the ballot for election to Group 2 of the Athlete Council, but who was not elected, is eligible to apply. Members of the International Olympic Committee (IOC) Athletes’ Commission and the International Paralympic Committee (IPC) Athletes’ Council are not eligible to apply.

A candidate who has been a past member of WADA’s Athlete Committee is eligible to apply, as long as the maximum membership of nine years has not been reached.

The candidate must have reached the age of 18 no later than by the date of the deadline that applications must be received by.

The candidate must not be Provisionally Suspended or serving a period of Ineligibility under the Code.

The candidate must be able to communicate effectively in English. The two working languages of WADA are English and French, while the primary working language of the Athlete Council will be English.

Skills and Diversity Criteria

The purpose of the appointment process for Group 3 members is to fill skills and diversity gaps not otherwise sufficiently provided for by Groups 1 and 2 and thereby ensure that the Athlete Council can adequately represent athletes and conduct its work.

Skills that have been identified and that are to be considered by the Panel may include experience, knowledge, or expertise in the following areas:

  • Anti-Doping
  • Athlete Committee
  • Athlete Representation
  • Communications
  • Education
  • Financial
  • Human Resources
  • Human Rights
  • Legal
  • Management
  • Medical
  • Nutrition
  • Outreach
  • Policy Development
  • Regulation
  • Research
  • Scientific
  • Strategic Planning
  • WADA Athlete Committee

The diversity criteria to be considered by the Panel should include, but not be limited to the following:

  • Age
  • Background
  • Culture
  • Disability
  • Ethnicity
  • Gender
  • Nationality
  • Sport

Applying for the Athlete Council

Candidates must nominate themselves for the Athlete Council by sending the following by 30 September 2022 to WADA (governance@wada-ama.org):

  • a detailed Curriculum Vitae or biography;
  • a motivation letter;
  • confirmation that they meet the Council eligibility criteria; and
  • confirmation that they both have the time and ability to take part in the activities of the Council.

Athlete Council Appointment Panel

The Panel will be composed of three members:

  • Two members from the Athlete Council; one elected by Group 1 among its members and one elected by Group 2 among its members.
  • One member of WADA’s Nominations Committee appointed by the Nominations Committee.


The following table outlines the applicable timelines that will apply to the Group 3 appointment process.

  Steps 2022 Calendar
Group 3 Public call for Interest – general list of skills listed 6 September to 30 September
  Group 1 and Group 2 meet to appoint their representatives on the Appointment Panel Week of 12 or 19 September
  Panel meet to determine process, including development of assessment of skills and diversity of Groups 1 and 2 Week of 19 or 26 September
  Review, interview process etc. including consultation with WADA President 30 September to 9 December
  Successful candidates advised, including the process to elect Chair and Members for the Foundation Board Week of 12 December

For more information on the Athlete Council, please visit WADA’s dedicated webpage.

Should you have any questions, please feel free to direct them to governance@wada-ama.org.