Norwegian nominated to lead WADA

Minister Linda Helleland proposed to succeed current WADA president

Linda Helleland

Photo: Kulturdepartementet / Flickr
WADA President Sir Craig Reedie, NIF 1st VP Kristin Kloster Aasen, Antidoping Norge leader Anders Solheim, and Minister of Culture Linda Helleland.

Ministry of Children and Equality

Prime Minister Erna Solberg of Norway and her government have announced their nomination of Linda Helleland, the Norwegian Minister of Children and Equality, to succeed Sir Craig Reedie as president of the World Anti-Doping Agency (WADA).

Helleland, who has served as WADA vice president since November 2016, is seen as an athlete-centered, reformist candidate who would seek to champion the interests of athletes and provide more athlete representation on WADA’s boards.

Helleland’s uncompromising stance on systematic doping has won her plaudits and made her a firm favorite among athletes.

Solberg said her government was providing its “full support” to the 41-year-old Helleland, who has promised to make WADA governance reform a central feature of her presidency platform.

“During her two years as vice president of WADA, Minister Helleland has never shied away from the difficult decisions, and has remained steadfast to her principles while championing an ‘athlete first’ vision for clean sport,” said Solberg.

“Minister Helleland has consistently demonstrated her full and unswerving determination to protect the global athlete community from doping. Knowing Linda well, I know she is firmly committed to strengthening WADA as the global anti-doping regulator and to restoring the confidence of athletes and sports fans in fair and honest sport. My cabinet and I have no hesitation in offering Linda our full support to lead the World Anti-Doping Agency as we enter a new age for anti-doping,” said the prime minister.

“Linda Hofstad Helleland has the knowledge and the experience required to lead WADA’s worldwide anti-doping work going forward. With her focus on good-governance principles such as independence and transparency, Helleland will be the right person to lead WADA in the years to come,” said Minister of Culture Trine Skei Grande.

This article originally appeared in the November 16, 2018, issue of The Norwegian American. To subscribe, visit SUBSCRIBE or call us at (206) 784-4617.

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