Former Winter Olympic champion Yang Yang became the first Chinese to be elected as the World Anti-Doping Agency (WADA) vice president in Poland on Thursday.
The election taking place in the Polish city on the last day of the three-day Fifth World Conference on Doping in Sport also saw Poland's sprinter-turned Minister of Sport and Tourism Witold Banka elected as president to succeed Scottish Craig Reedie.
Yang, the first Chinese to take a leadership role in WADA's 20-year history, said she looks forward to working with Banka, a young politician at 35, in the next three years.
Witold Banka greets Yang Yang during the Fifth World Conference on Doping in Sport WADA2019 in Katowice, Poland, November 5,2019.[Photo: VCG]
"He is very young but he was an athlete before and also has so much experience in politics. I believe if we can work closely together, we can do a good job," she said.
Reedie gave his best wishes to Banka and Yang after the election.
"I wish you two every success possible," said the 78-year-old, who has been in the position for six years.
Yang,43, will start her term at the beginning of next year, succeeding Norwegian politician Linda Helleland, who will step down at the end of 2019.
Yang became China's first Winter Olympic champion at Salt Lake City in 2002, when she took two gold medals and a silver in the short track speedskating events. She was an IOC member from 2010 until 2018, when she was appointed IOC Marketing Commission member.
She was nominated in May by the IOC Executive Board as the representative of the Olympic Movement for the vice presidency of WADA. She admitted that she was a little surprised when she first got the news.
"Frankly speaking, I was surprised by the nomination, although I did once work in the athlete's commission of WADA," Yang, one of the most decorated skaters in history, told Xinhua in an exclusive interview here.