WADA's Cohen is first DG of International Testing Agency
The newly-created International Testing Agency, which aims to take anti-doping testing of athletes out of the hands of international federations, to resolve perceived conflicts of interest, has appointed its first director general, Switzerland’s Benjamin Cohen.
Cohen, the current director of the World Anti-Doping Agency’s European office, previously held various roles at FIBA, the international basketball federation, the United Nations Office of Sport for Development and Peace in New York, and at Uefa, the governing body of European soccer.
The ITA, the brainchild of International Olympic Committee president Thomas Bach, aims to provide anti-doping services to international federations and major event organisers that want to delegate their anti-doping programmes to a body that operates independently from sports organisations and national interests (use of the ITA is not compulsory for federations).
WADA said: “The Doping-Free Sport Unit (DFSU) of the Global Association of International Sports Federations (GAISF) will remain intact and become the operational nucleus of the ITA, ensuring the staff expertise required to provide anti-doping services under its new, independent governance structure. At the Olympic Winter Games PyeongChang 2018, the IOC is working with the GAISF DFSU to ensure that there is an independent overview of the anti-doping programme.”
WADA added: “The ITA does not change an IF’s or MEO’s responsibility under the World Anti-Doping Code, as they ultimately remain responsible for compliance with the Code, which will be monitored by the World Anti-Doping Agency.”