Independent Vetting Panel

The role of the Independent Vetting Panel (IVP) is to decide if an Applicant or Existing Official is Eligible to be, or remain in office, as a BWF Official in accordance with the Statutes – see Appendix II – Vetting Rules of the BWF Constitution.

Officials means Council members, the BWF Referral Officer (RO), the Secretary General (SB), and members of the Independent Hearing Panel (IHP) and the members of the Sports Disciplinary Panel (SDP).

The Vetting Panel is comprised of five persons who are independent from the BWF with experience in vetting or screening applicants for appointments in official positions. The members of the Vetting Panel are approved by the BWF AGM for a four-year term. As of December 2023, three of the five members have been appointed. The remaining two will be appointed during the 2024 AGM.

The Vetting Panel has the power to set its own Vetting Procedures and the Declaration Form in line with the BWF Constitution and the Vetting Rules. The Terms of Reference for the Vetting Panel can be downloaded above.

Vetting Panel Members

Dr Tanja Haug – Chair

Tanja Haug is a German lawyer specializing in sports law and international arbitration with 25 years’ experience. She advises national and international sport governing bodies in governance, disciplinary, anti-doping, anti-corruption, and safeguarding matters and acts as an independent supervisor to monitor potential rule violations.

In the area of vetting, eligibility checks and investigations into wrongdoing in professional sport, Tanja has a wide range of expertise. She was a member of the IBU External Review Commission and has designed and conducted various vetting proceedings in international sport in recent years.

At present, Tanja is a member of the Board of the Biathlon Integrity Unit and the independent ITF Ethics Commission. As an arbitrator, Tanja sits for the World Athletics Disciplinary Tribunal and the International Panel of Sport Resolutions. She has also been an arbitrator at the German Court of Sports Arbitration for many years, but currently serves on its Appointment Committee. Tanja holds a PhD in sports science, with her thesis addressing the topic of ethics and law in professional sport.

Mr. Masahiro Takamatsu – Deputy Chair

Masahiro Takamatsu is a Japanese attorney at Kyobashi Law Offices in Tokyo, specializing in sports and corporate governance.

He had served as expert staff in charge of the Public Understanding Program for Sports Dispute Resolution in the Japan Sports Arbitration Agency (JSAA).

He currently serves as chair of several compliance committees, board member and legal counsel of national sports federations. He has also served as arbitrator of JSAA.

As advocate, he has represented athletes and coaches in disciplinary proceedings, selection disputes and anti-doping cases, particularly before the JSAA and the Court of Arbitration for Sport.

He has also served as lecturer of Sports Law at JD and LL.M course of Keio University Law School in Tokyo.

He is currently a Director and Secretary General of the Japan Sports Law Association.

Mr. Niels Lindholm

Niels Lindholm is a compliance and integrity executive with experience and responsibilities across governance, operations, grant distribution, procurement / acquisitions and enterprise risk management.

Since 2018 Niels serves as the first Ethical Compliance Officer of World Athletics, the world governing body for the sport of athletics. In this global role, Niels designs and leads all compliance operations including vetting, due diligence, elections oversight, grant compliance, risk management, conduct, training, monitoring and reporting. He also provides expertise in the context of criminal litigation and sport arbitration when the sport’s integrity, assets or reputation are at stake.

With a background in political science and corporate investigations, Niels has handled highly sensitive matters of corruption, fraud & embezzlement, anti-trust, safeguarding and harassment. Some of these cases were very high profile and delivered under public or regulatory scrutiny.

Niels is a Member of the International Partnership Against Corruption in Sport (Task Force 2), since 2019, the French Athletics Federation Elections Oversight Panel (since 2020) and World Athletics’ Bid Evaluation Panel (since 2018). He has authored a number of articles and is a regular speaker about ethics and compliance implementation in high risk environments.