MONTE CARLO: David Howman, former director-general of the World Anti-Doping Agency, has been namd by the International Association of Athletics Federations as chair of its new independent athletics integrity unit.

The unit, which will oversee the sport’s anti-doping programme, was a key part of IAAF president Sebastian Coe’s reform programme that was approved at the IAAF Congress in November and officially began operating on Monday.

Its formation comes with the IAAF currently battling issues on multiple fronts including the re-admittance process concerning the suspended Russian Athletics Federation (RusAF) and corruption allegations stemming from the regime of former president Lamine Diack.

Earlier this week, the IAAF said it had stepped up its cyber security measures after confirming it has been the victim of an attack from the Russian hacking group known as Fancy Bears. The IAAF said it believed the attack compromised athletes’ Therapeutic Use Exemption (TUE) applications stored on IAAF servers.

Howman is a barrister with a strong background in both sport governance and sports management and stepped down from his WADA role in 2016.

He said: “The IAAF is addressing this differently to any other international sports federation. It is taking a brave, bold stance by looking at the total package of integrity from the athletes’ point of view. It is rarely one thing that fails but multiple things that come together to create a situation where ethical breaches occur.

“Putting the athlete at the centre of the structures and creating an environment where they can know and share information is critical to putting them in full control of their performances and their actions.”