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Ryan Pini Chair of WADA Athletes Council

Former PNG champion and four-time Olympic swimmer and Chef De Mission for the 2024 Olympic Games Ryan Pini is the Chair and Executive Committee Member of the World Anti-Doping Agency Athlete Council of 2023.

“The WADA reformed last year, so they recreated the WADA athlete committee-the WADA Athlete Council. They changed from 12 athletes to 20 so I am one of those 20 that got appointed and from there I was elected as chairperson. So, I sit on WADA's executive committee," said Ryan Pini during an interview at the Theodist Swimming National Championships held over the weekend at Taurama Aquatic Centre, Port Moresby.

He was elected to the WADA Athletes Council after nomination by World Aquatics, formerly known as the International Swimming Federation or FINA earlier in 2022. He was elected Chair in March 2023.

The election was done online following the Athlete Council’s first meeting at the WADA Symposium in Lausanne, Switzerland.

“The WADA Agency is a big agency and so critical for sports because it creates a clean and fair environment for athletes to compete without anyone worrying about doping on the field,” said the former PNG Athlete Commission Chairperson.

The 2023 Athlete Council will represent, support and promote athletes' voices on anti-doping matters; and will be the avenue for athletes, chosen by athletes, to assume significant seats within WADA’s governing bodies.

Pini will travel to the Canadian city of Montreal for his first meeting this weekend.

“I’ll travel to Montreal next weekend (this weekend) for my first meeting. It’s a real honour and I think as someone coming from Papua New Guinea in one of the smaller countries being in these big organizations looking after every single sport in the country and the world and making sure that every athlete is represented and fair in the processes”, said Pini.

Meanwhile, PNG Olympic Committee President Sir John Dawanincura in acknowledging the announcement by WADA, congratulated Ryan Pini on his election saying, “Being Papua New Guinea and Team PNG’s most decorated athlete that has represented our country in the sport of swimming at the Pacific, Commonwealth and Olympic Games and also at the FINA championships, Pini’s appointment is a testament to a great athlete and role model who continues to aspire to excellence. With this experience as an athlete and now representing athletes on various national and regional boards, I am confident Ryan will lead the WADA Athlete Council with integrity and respect”.

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