WADA - World Anti-Doping Agency

12/07/2021 | Press release | Distributed by Public on 12/07/2021 12:40

New Chair for WADA’s independent Compliance Review Committee

The World Anti-Doping Agency (WADA) has announced the resignation for personal reasons of the Honorable James Wood QC of Australia as the Chair of the independent Compliance Review Committee(CRC).

Mr. Wood, whose term as Chair was due to expire at the end of 2022, will be replaced on an interim basis by the current Vice-Chair of the Committee, Henry Gourdji of Canada, who will see out the remainder of the term. In turn, Mr. Gourdji's position as an independent member of the CRC will be filled early next year, for the same interim duration. This approach was endorsed by the WADA Executive Committeeat its meeting in Paris on 24 November 2021.

WADA President Witold Bańka said: "On behalf of WADA and the global anti-doping community, I would like to thank Mr. Wood for his two years of service as Chair of the CRC. His diligence, experience and integrity were always to the fore as he led the Committee during a difficult period of COVID-related restrictions and challenges. We wish him well and continued success.

"I also thank Mr. Gourdji for agreeing to act as interim Chair until the end of 2022. This will ensure that the transition period will be short and seamless, and I am confident the work of the CRC will not be adversely affected. With his impressive experience in compliance management and leadership, as well as the support of the rest of the CRC, the Committee is well-placed to continue its good work in 2022."

Mr. Wood said: "I have greatly appreciated the opportunity and privilege of serving as Chair of the Compliance and Review Committee during the somewhat challenging 2020 and 2021 years and I very much regret that personal circumstances have prevented my continuation in office. It has been very rewarding working with the members of the Committee and WADA Management over that time, during which significant progress has been achieved in developing compliance monitoring programs and practices. It has also been gratifying to see a substantial improvement in compliance by Signatories, despite the challenges of the pandemic."

From Canada, Mr. Gourdji holds a Bachelor of Science degree in aeronautics from Embry-Riddle Aeronautical University in the United States and advanced strategic studies from the Royal Military College in Kingston, Ontario. He has a strong track record in strategic planning, performance management and compliance monitoring with more than 35 years' experience across the United Nations, public and private sectors. In particular, he assumed senior leadership positions with the International Civil Aviation Organization for more than 20 years. He is today the Director of Safety Strategy and Policy of the Flight Safety Foundation, an independent, international non-profit organization that champions the cause of aviation safety.

During 2022, WADA's independent Nominations Committeewill invite interested parties to apply for the CRC Chair's position for the next three-year term, starting in January 2023.