Robert Koehler has been appointed WADA deputy director general with immediate effect ©WADA

Robert Koehler has been promoted to deputy director general of the World Anti-Doping Agency (WADA) in a series of changes to the body's management team announced today. 

Frédéric Donzé will also take up a new role as chief operating officer later this year in a second major change as the organisation's continues its adaptation to changing times and responsibilities.

Koehler, a Canadian, has worked for WADA since 2002 and served most recently as senior director of Education and National Anti-Doping Organisation (NADO)/Regional Anti-Doping Organisation (RADO) Relations.

In addition to maintaining his current responsibilities, a statement revealed, Koehler will work closely with Donzé and incoming director general Olivier Niggli in "leading the strategy and operations" of WADA.

He will "ensure that the Agency’s strategy and operations are aligned and being fulfilled in accordance with the Strategic Plan".

Frédéric Donzé is set to become chief operating officer of the World Anti-Doping Agency ©WADA
Frédéric Donzé is set to become chief operating officer of the World Anti-Doping Agency ©WADA

Donzé, currently director of WADA’s European Regional Office and International Federation Relations in Lausanne, will formally assume the chief operating officer role on October 3 after relocating to Montreal.

The Swiss will be responsible for "ensuring the quality and effectiveness of WADA’s operations".  

This will complete the new management team to sit alongside the body's President Sir Craig Reedie after Niggli, whose appointment was announced last year, is due to officially replace David Howman as director general on July 1.

“I am thrilled that Robert Koehler and Frédéric Donzé have agreed to take on these new mandates,” Niggli said.

“With their depth of knowledge of, and experience with, WADA and the broader anti-doping industry, I feel very confident that our management team will be armed and able to tackle the challenges and opportunities that lay ahead to protect the clean athlete."

The changes come as WADA considers the expansion of its role to increase the scope of the investigations it carries out after its Independent Commission published allegations of state-sponsored doping in Russia last year.

A new independent but WADA-led body has also been proposed to carry out testing instead of International Federations.