The International Tennis Integrity Agency (ITIA) can today confirm that Nicole Sapstead will become its Senior Director for Anti-Doping. Following a global recruitment process, Nicole will join the organisation in September 2021 and will have responsibility for leading the sport’s worldwide anti-doping programme, which is due to come under the auspices of the ITIA from 1 January 2022.

She will join the ITIA after 12 years at UK Anti-Doping (UKAD), the last six as CEO.

The ITIA was established on 1 January 2021 by the Governing Bodies of Tennis (ATP, WTA, ITF and Grand Slam Board) as a fully independent body to safeguard the integrity of professional tennis worldwide. The agency replaced the Tennis Integrity Unit investigating corruption and match fixing in the sport. The forthcoming integration of the Tennis Anti-Doping Programme will complete the next stage of the sport’s vision to create a world class and wholly independent integrity organisation to enhance trust in tennis. 

ITIA CEO Jonny Gray commented, “We look forward to welcoming Nicole to the ITIA in September. She brings extensive knowledge and experience to the role after many years at UKAD and we are thrilled to have secured such an experienced and well-regarded operator. We have a busy few months ahead to integrate the anti-doping programme into the existing ITIA set-up. Nicole will ensure that on 1 January 2022 there is a seamless transition from the ITF to the ITIA. There can be nothing more important than clean sport, whether that is in terms of match fixing or anti-doping and the Governing Bodies of Tennis have made a very clear commitment to just that through the establishment of the ITIA.”

Nicole Sapstead commented, “Taking forward the international anti-doping programme for a high profile, global sport such as tennis and aligning it with the anti-corruption programme is a unique challenge and one I am very much looking forward to. I am also thrilled to be part of the new ITIA which is leading the way in best-in-class governance of integrity risk in sport. I have huge admiration and affection for the UKAD team, who I am sure will continue to set the standard for anti-doping efforts in British sport and I’m grateful for the Board’s support for my decision. I’m hugely looking forward to the next chapter in my career with the ITIA.”

International Tennis Federation President David Haggerty commented, “We are working extremely closely with the ITIA on the handover of the administration of the Tennis Anti-Doping Programme and were pleased to have supported the selection process. Nicole was the stand-out candidate in a very strong field to lead the tennis anti-doping programme into the future. As a sport, this appointment and the establishment of a fully independent ITIA before that, demonstrates our absolute commitment to integrity in tennis.”

The Tennis Integrity Supervisory Board, made up of the ATP, WTA, ITF, Grand Slam Board and independent directors, will make the final recommendation on the integration of the Tennis Anti-Doping Programme (TADP) later this year. The ITF will remain the signatory of the World Anti-Doping Agency (WADA) and the ITIA will independently run the TADP on a delegated basis. 

Published 19 May 2021 14:00

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