The World Anti-Doping Agency has announced its Independent Observer ahead of the Olympics and Paralympics. WADA

The World Anti-Doping Agency (WADA) has announced its Independent Observer (IO) programme teams in preparation for the 2024 Olympic and Paralympic Games in Paris. WADA’s IO programme is designed to enhance athlete and public confidence as to the quality, effectiveness and reliability of anti-doping programmes during the Games.

The anti-doping program at the Olympics will be managed by the International Testing Agency (ITA), on behalf of the International Olympic Committee (IOC), while the anti-doping program at the Paralympics will be managed by the International Paralympic Committee (IPC). Both programmes will be delivered in conjunction with the Anti-Doping Department of the Paris 2024 Organising Committee and supported by the Agence française de lutte contre le dopage. All samples collected during the Games will be analysed by the Laboratoire AntiDopage Français, the WADA-accredited laboratory in Paris.  

"WADA’s Independent Observer teams for the Paris 2024 Olympic and Paralympic Games are made up of a diverse and experienced group of anti-doping professionals and elite athletes. Their work may go on behind the scenes to those watching the Games around the world, but the Independent Observer teams are critical to providing a level playing field for all Olympic and Paralympic athletes. The work they will do during and following the Games will provide a framework for best practices and adjustments that can be carried over to other major events in the years to come," WADA Director General Olivier Niggli said in a press release by the organisation.

WADA’s IO team will observe all aspects of the Games’ anti-doping programmes and provide daily feedback to the organisers, overseeing the procedures from test distribution planning and implementation, recruitment and training of sample collection personnel, transport and chain of custody of samples, laboratory operations, and results management.

The IO team for the Olympic Games consists of: 

Mr. Darren Mullaly (Australia), Deputy CEO, Strategy and International Engagement, Sport Integrity Australia (Chair); 

Ms. Dan-Thanh Tran (Canada), Head of Testing Compliance, WADA (Vice-Chair); 

Ms. Françoise Dagouret (Switzerland), Manager, Testing, WADA; 

Dr. Maira Bakasheva (Kazakhstan), Director, Kazakhstan Anti-doping Centre; 

Mr. Iñaki Gomez (Canada), two-time Olympian (race walking) and WADA Athlete Council member; and 

Mr. Vinicius Sardela (Brazil), Senior Manager, Laboratory Operations, WADA. 

WADA will run a similar IO program during the Paris 2024 Paralympic Games. 

The IO team for the Paralympic Games consists of: 

Mr. Diego Grippo (Argentina), President, Comisión Nacional Antidopage Argentina (Chair); 

Mr. Valentin Capelli (France), Manager, Sport Movement Relations, WADA (Vice-Chair); 

Mr. Patrick O’Leary (Ireland), two-time Paralympian (paracanoe) and WADA Athlete Council member; 

Ms. Rym Zerifi (Tunisia), Executive Manager, Organisation Régionale Antidopage; and 

Ms. Seena Omar Hatugay, Secretary General, West Asia Regional Anti-Doping Organization. 

Following the Games, the IO teams will issue respective reports that will formalise observations and recommendations designed to enhance anti-doping activities for future events.