On 21 June 2018, the International Testing Agency (ITA) officially launched its operations at its second Foundation Board Meeting, in Lausanne, Switzerland.
“This has been an extremely important meeting as it officially launches the ITA’s operations,” said the ITA’s Chair, Dr Valérie Fourneyron. Expressing her complete satisfaction with the productive meeting, she continued: “I look forward to the ITA’s move into its new headquarters, in just a few days. I am confident the team will spare no efforts in immediately building trust and sharing expertise among our partners. We will give the sports community full confidence that each organisation can focus entirely on developing their sport while relying fully on the ITA to deliver comprehensive and tailor-made anti-doping services.”
Led by Dr Valérie Fourneyron, the ITA’s Board is also comprised of Prof. Uğur Erdener, Francesco Ricci Bitti, Kirsty Coventry and Prof. Dr Peijie Chen. The meeting was also attended by a WADA representative (non-voting position), Frédéric Donzé. The Board officially welcomed new ITA Director General, Benjamin Cohen, who started in his position on 1 June 2018.
During the meeting, the Board discussed at length the strategic direction and development of the organisation in the short and longer term. The Board expressed its full support for the ITA Director General in the definition and development of the ITA’s vision and objectives in its fight against doping.
The ITA Board made the following decisions:
- Formally ratified the ITA’s move into its new headquarters in Lausanne;
- Approved the ITA’s proposed brand identity, including a young and dynamic logo that fully reflects the ITA’s values of integrity, transparency and excellence. The logo will be launched shortly;
- Supported the organisational structure and overall governance mechanisms proposed by the ITA’s Director General;
- Approved the 2018 budget and the 2019 preliminary budget;
- Noted that staff recruitment is ongoing and will continue throughout 2018 and 2019;
- Reiterated the importance for the ITA to work independently while capitalizing on the extensive existing expertise within IFs and Major Event Organizers;
- Supported the ITA Director General’s plans to work collaboratively with all stakeholders involved in the fight against doping, and to partner with interested scientific, academic and technological organizations in order to promote research and advance the fight for clean sport;
- Commended the work carried out by the ITA Chair in chairing the Olympic Athlete of Russia Independent Review Panel, in charge of proposing to the IOC the Russian athletes who fulfilled the eligibility criteria to compete at the 2018 Olympic Winter Games in PyeongChang. The Board also commended the work done by the Doping Free Sports Unit (operational nucleus of the ITA) over the years and, in particular, during and in the lead up to the Olympic Winter Games in PyeongChang, as also recognised by WADA in its Independent Observer’s report;
- Expressed its gratitude to the Swiss authorities whose assistance has enabled the ITA to establish headquarters in Lausanne.
Lausanne City Counsellor in charge of Sport and Social Cohesion, Mr Oscar Tosato, officially welcomed the ITA, saying: “Lausanne, the Olympic Capital, continues to grow and add value to international sport through a unique knowledge-sharing platform. The synergies that exist in Lausanne contribute to developing sport and clean sport around the globe. This brings extraordinary visibility to the city of Lausanne, which is further reinforced today with the presence of the ITA.”
Canton de Vaud State Minister of Economy, Innovation and Sport, Mr Philippe Leuba, also warmly welcomed ITA’s establishment in the region: “The fight against doping requires bringing together specialised knowledge in the fields of research, management, and sport communication. All this knowledge exists in our region. The presence of the ITA here is clearly a source of great pride and pushes us to continue the work achieved over the years in attracting key actors of global sport.”