The Canadian who led the charge against doping in cross-country skiing has been named to the executive committee of the World Anti-Doping Agency.
Beckie Scott, a two-time Olympic medalist from Vermilion, Alta., will take the International Olympic Committee’s seat on the WADA executive. She is one of two Canadians – the other is Minister for State for Sport Bal Gosal – on the 12-member board of WADA’s ultimate policy-making body.
The WADA board is composed equally of representatives from the Olympic movement and government.
“I’m the only former athlete sitting at the table, so I’ll bring that perspective and that position. I still want to protect the efforts of clean athletes. They depend on it,” Scott said in an interview Monday, returning from her first meeting in London at the completion of the 2012 Paralympic Summer Games.
The executive committee will examine every type of doping cheat, from users of steroids to blood-boosting EPO to the anticipated scourge of genetic doping (which will be hard to identify).
“Research is ongoing. We haven’t seen cases of it yet, but that’s evidence that it’s not occurring,” Scott said.
An icon of nordic sport in Canada, Scott retired in 2006, with 17 World Cup medals.
She was the first North American woman to win a cross-country medal at the Olympics, finishing third at the 2002 Salt Lake City Winter Games. It was upgraded to gold 22 months later, after arguments and appeals regarding the drug use of the two Russian women who finished in front of her.
It was a vindication of sorts for Scott, who, before the 2002 Games, engaged in a noisy dialogue with former WADA chief and Canadian IOC member Dick Pound.
Pound said WADA had done a good job to clean up the Games and Scott was on a “rant” before Salt Lake City.
But she got scores of World Cup athletes to sign a petition to governing body (FIS) asking ski officials to crack down on cheating.
Scott also won an Olympic medal for a sprint in tandem with teammate Sara Renner in 2006.
Scott was Canada’s representative on WADA’s athlete committee for four years prior to being a member of WADA’s foundation board the last six years.
Scott’s new responsibilities will include participating in three meetings each year at WADA headquarters in Montreal, and the anti-doping body’s seat in Lausanne, Switzerland.
In addition to her work with WADA, Scott was one of two international athletes elected by her peers to the 13-member IOC athletes’ commission for an eight-year term starting in 2006.