Doping-WADA approves reforms to improve athlete representation

FILE PHOTO: A woman walks into the head office of the World Anti-Doping Agency (WADA) in Montreal, Quebec, Canada November 9, 2015. REUTERS/Christinne Muschi/File Photo/File Photo

PARIS (Reuters) - The World Anti-Doping Agency (WADA) on Thursday approved reforms designed to give athletes more representation in the organisation's decision-making process.

At its two-day board meeting, WADA decided to reform its athletes council whose 20 members will now be elected directly by sports professionals.

The move came after athletes from a number of sports around the world said they were not represented sufficiently at the agency.

"It was great that all stakeholders support this movement and governments of the world were fully supportive of this governance reform," WADA President Witold Banka told a news conference after the meeting in Paris.

A pilot ombudsman scheme will also be put in place to better advise athletes on doping-related issues, the agency said, adding that it also plans to create an ethics board and to put more money into scientific research.

(Reporting by Clotaire Achi, writing by Tassilo Hummel, editing by Ed Osmond)

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