WADA has appointed sports lawyer Gautier Aubert as its first ethics officer ©WADA

Swiss lawyer Gautier Aubert, formerly the head of FIFA's Ethics Department, has been appointed by the World Anti-Doping Agency (WADA) as its first ethics officer.

Aubert, who has extensive sports law experience, worked for FIFA for four years, heading their ethics department from August 2017 to September 2018. 

He is currently a clerk for the International Equestrian Federation Tribunal, where he deals with both human and equine anti-doping.

At WADA he will be responsible for implementing the WADA Code of Ethics adopted in November 2021 alongside the Independent Ethics Board (IEB), which was established in May.

As an independent contractor, Aubert will perform his services for an initial term of three years, with scope for a further two three-year terms at the discretion of the IEB.

Working independently of WADA, the ethics officer is in charge of managing cases as and when they arise under the Code of Ethics, and reports directly to the IEB chair.

"I am honoured to be appointed as the inaugural ethics officer and am looking forward to working closely with the IEB to ensure WADA's officials are operating in alignment with the ethical standards laid out in the Code of Ethics," Aubert said.

"My knowledge of sports law and expertise in ethics, including my experience of having led the ethics department of a large international sports federation, make me well suited for the position.

"Above all, I will bring my passion for sport and commitment to fair play with me to the role."

Professor Mette Hartlev, the IEB chair, said: "With years of experience in both law and sport, Mr. Aubert is perfectly suited for the position of ethics officer.

Gautier Aubert formerly headed FIFA's ethics department and has a new role at WADA  ©Getty Images
Gautier Aubert formerly headed FIFA's ethics department and has a new role at WADA  ©Getty Images

"As the first point of contact for any ethical issues or complaints that may arise, Mr. Aubert will play an integral part in the implementation of the Code of Ethics.

"He was selected following a thorough recruitment process, conducted in collaboration with WADA's Nominations Committee, and I am confident that he will fulfil his duties effectively."

In May 2022, the Board approved the IEB's nine members with seven independent, one nominated by the public authorities and one nominated by the Olympic Movement.

The search for an ethics officer begun in August 2022.

Aubert was selected by the IEB following the recommendation of the Ethics Officer Selection Panel at the beginning of the year.

In addition to managing cases under the Code of Ethics, the ethics officer functions as the first point of contact for information on possible breaches of ethics at WADA.

The ethics officer will also undertake investigations where required, prior to referring any cases to the IEB for adjudication.

Following the appointment of the ethics officer, the IEB and Aubert agreed on the inaugural reporting system for complaints lodged under the Code of Ethics.

In the next two months, he will work closely with WADA's Information Technology Department to set-up this new independent and confidential reporting platform.

It is expected to become operational in May and will be directly and solely managed by Aubert.

Aubert is an attorney at law and founding partner of Aubert-Hug in Le Landeron, Switzerland.

After obtaining a Master of Sports Law degree from the University of Neuchâtel in 2012, he went on to pass the Swiss Bar exam in 2014.

A native French speaker, he is fluent in English and has a working knowledge of Spanish, German and Italian.