Our distinguished board member Kate O’Regan has been appointed to the ethics commission of the International Association of Athletics Federations (IAAF).

The commission is one of the measures set up by the IAAF to “eliminate corrupt conduct which might place the authenticity, integrity and reputation of athletics at risk”. The IAAF has come under fire recently for an unfolding corruption scandal involving doping, cover-ups and extortion at a high level. The world athletics body is denying the allegations of systemic corruption.

O’Regan and Singaporean lawyer Annabel Pennefather were both appointed in January as the newest members of the independent judicial body, which is chaired by British barrister Michael Beloff QC. It’s composed of (now) nine members, who are appointed for a maximum of two terms of four years. Previously all the members were men, but the two newcomers have broken the commission’s male dominance.

O’Regan is a former judge of the Constitutional Court of South Africa and has served since 2010 as an ad hoc judge of the Supreme Court of Namibia. She is currently acting as the president of the International Monetary Fund Administrative Tribunal and as a member of the World Bank Sanctions Board. Between 2008 and 2012 O’Regan was the chairperson of the UN Internal Justice Council and between 2012 and 2014 she was the co-chairperson, with another Corruption Watch board member Vusi Pikoli, of the Commission of Inquiry into allegations of inefficiency in the South African Police Service in Khayelitsha, Western Cape province. She is a visiting professor at Oxford University, among other prestigious academic positions.

Pennefather is a Singaporean lawyer with substantial experience in sports law and governance. She is currently a vice president of the Singapore National Olympic Council, deputy president of the International Hockey Federation’s Judicial Commission and a member of the Olympic Council of Asia’s Sports for All Committee. Pennefather has served as chef de mission for Singapore’s contingents at a number of major multi-sport events such as the Manchester Commonwealth Games in 2002, the Athens Olympic Games in 2004, the Doha Asian Games in 2006, the New Delhi Commonwealth Games in 2010 and the Myanmar SEA Games in 2013.

“The Ethics Commission welcomes these strong additions to its number at a time when the sport of athletics is facing particular challenges and in the light of the Ethics Commission’s important current and prospective work,” the IAAF said in a statement.