Pennefather to serve on BWF doping and ethics hearing panels
The Badminton World Federation (BWF) announced yesterday that it has appointed Annabel Pennefather, a vice-president of the Singapore National Olympic Council, to its external judicial expert group.
The group, which includes members from across the globe, comes under chairman Rune Bard Hansen, a judge of the Court of Appeals in Norway who will select individuals to serve on either a doping hearing panel or an ethics hearing panel when required.
Pennefather is also currently on the International Association of Athletics Federations' (IAAF) disciplinary tribunal, as well as serving as the deputy president of the International Hockey Federation's (FIH) judicial commission.
She said: "As with my earlier IAAF disciplinary tribunal appointment, I believe that my sports law expertise and my experience from serving in various sports and adjudicatory roles, both at the international and local levels, will enable me to make an important and meaningful contribution on any hearing panel.
"In fact, it was indicated to me when I was first approached by the BWF that they considered my sports law expertise and IAAF ethics board experience to be very useful."
The former national hockey player has a close connection to badminton and she said her association with the sport was an important consideration in deciding to take up the BWF role.
Her late grandmother, Alice Pennefather, was the women's singles champion of Malaya for three years in the 1930s.
Pennefather's late father, Percy, and his cousin, the late E W Barker, were also players who won a number of junior doubles events in the 1930s.
During the Football Association of Singapore elections in April, she ran for one of the four vice-president positions as part of the Game Changers' slate that failed to get the mandate of the local football fraternity.
The defeat, she said, was what freed her up to accept the BWF appointment.
She added: "When I was approached by the BWF, it was in early May, by which time I knew that I would not have to commit time and effort to an FAS administration role.
"The BWF did tell me that, at this stage, they did not expect that there would be too many cases so the workload would not be too demanding.
"I consulted with colleagues in my law firm, Withers KhattarWong, and also colleagues in the IAAF disciplinary tribunal, and they were all supportive of my taking on this new role.
"I am confident that I will be able to do this with what I have on my sports plate right now.
"Most important of all, is my lifelong passion for and involvement in sports and, if I can make any contribution to preserving the integrity of sport, I will give it my best shot."