Three-time Olympian Ben Sandford has won the election to replace Beckie Scott as chairman of the World Anti-Doping Agency's Athlete Committee.

The 40-year-old former skeleton racer from Rotorua defeated Belgium's Yuhan Tan in the committee's vote on Wednesday and will officially get the job at WADA's executive committee meeting in January.

It's an important role and Sandford has big shoes to fill.

Scott fought for more athlete representation within WADA and criticised the agency for its handling of the Russian doping scandal.

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She resigned her seat on WADA's compliance review committee after it recommended Russia's anti-doping agency be reinstated, but she stayed on as chairwoman of the Athlete Committee.

The agency's World Conference on Doping in Sport ends tomorrow in Katowice, Poland.

Earlier in the conference, Sandford and Scott presented the latest draft of the Athletes' Anti-Doping Rights Act, previously known as the Anti-Doping Charter of Athlete Rights.

It aims to make sure athlete rights within anti-doping are clearly set out, accessible, and universally applicable.

Winter Olympic skeleton racer Ben Sandford in 2006. Photo / File
Winter Olympic skeleton racer Ben Sandford in 2006. Photo / File

Sandford represented New Zealand at three Winter Olympics finishing 10th at the 2006 games in Turin and 11th at the 2010 games in Canada.

His best finish at a world championship was third in the men's skeleton event at Lake Placid in 2012, before he retired two years later.

His uncle Bruce Sandford won gold in the event in 1992.

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That made Sandford and Sandford the only athletes from the Southern Hemisphere to win world championship medals in skeleton, bobsleigh or luge.

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Sandford is a sports law specialist and works at his father Paul's firm in Rotorua, Sandford & Partners.

He was admitted to the bar in 2002 after studying at Victoria University.

In 2017 he stood for Rotorua MP.

He gained 31 per cent of the vote as Labour's candidate in the Rotorua electorate, behind National's Todd McClay, who won 53 per cent.

Samantha Sandford was admitted to the bar in 2008, following in her father and brother's footsteps. Photo / File
Samantha Sandford was admitted to the bar in 2008, following in her father and brother's footsteps. Photo / File

Sandford's younger sister Samantha, also a Rotorua lawyer, said she found out "on the internet just like everybody else" today.

She had not yet spoken to him when the Rotorua Daily Post reached her at 3pm.

"He will be pretty stoked, it's something he's really passionate about."

Samantha shares an office with Ben, and said he had been talking about vying for the position before he left.

"We had been discussing the challenges the committee faces, and the roles the members held."

She said when her brother left for the overseas trip "he wasn't sure how it was going to go".

"He didn't know what to expect, he just knew it would be an eventful two weeks."

- additional reporting AP