Pennefather's IAAF role expanded

Annabel Pennefather has been named as one of six members to the IAAF's disciplinary tribunal.
Annabel Pennefather has been named as one of six members to the IAAF's disciplinary tribunal.

Singapore veteran sports official Annabel Pennefather's involvement at the International Association of Athletics Federations (IAAF) is deepening, after she was appointed part of its disciplinary tribunal.

The 68-year-old is one of six members - and the only Asian - named yesterday. A newly formed and independent unit, the disciplinary tribunal comes under the Athletics Integrity Unit established in April.

The tribunal is chaired by Briton Michael Beloff, a Queen's Counsel and internationally renowned sports law barrister.

South African Catherine O'Regan, American Thomas Murray, Senegalese Tafsir Malick NDiaye and Finn Lauri Tarasti were also appointed.

While Pennefather is no stranger to the IAAF, having already been part of its ethics board since early last year, this appointment is likely to mean greater involvement.

The tribunal, for one thing, takes on all the functions of the IAAF ethics board. Under the IAAF's integrity code of conduct, it will also hear and adjudicate on all breaches and will be empowered to impose sanctions.

It will oversee not only ethics issues but also doping matters, engaging full-time staff to support its responsibilities.

Said Pennefather, who is also a vice-president of the Singapore National Olympic Council: "Over the years, I've served in so many different roles in sports. These roles which I'm increasingly getting involved with are more aligned with my sports law practice."

She was a national hockey player and was previously vice-president of the International Hockey Federation. She also recently ran for one of four vice-presidential seats on the Football Association of Singapore council as part of the Game Changers slate, which did not succeed in the election in April.

Head of the sports law practice at Withers KhattarWong, Pennefather was involved in the decision to expel former IAAF deputy general secretary Nick Davies, for allegedly accepting illicit payments to bury news of positive Russian drug tests.

She also chaired a panel in March that looked into a case of alleged electoral corruption involving an Austrian athletes' representative, Harald Edletzberger.

Said Pennefather: "It's a good reminder especially for me personally at this time, that at least my commitment to the roles I've served in, as well as sports law capabilities and more importantly, my integrity continue to be recognised on the global level of sport."

A version of this article appeared in the print edition of The Straits Times on June 09, 2017, with the headline 'Pennefather's IAAF role expanded'. Print Edition | Subscribe