Next month, Rotorua 40-year-old Ben Sandford will become the primary representative for athletes around the world in anti-doping decision-making. Sam Olley caught up with the high-achieving all-rounder, who has been practising law full-time, stood for Labour in the 2017 election and is a three-time Olympian.
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Ben Sandford had been living his dream for three Olympic cycles when he retired from skeleton racing in 2014.
"So how do you replace your dream?" he asks in 2019.
It took Sandford at least two "really challenging" years to find other enjoyable things to fill his life with.
"You go from doing something that you love, and having a plan every single day and you know the next four years is planned out ... Then you don't know what to do and you don't know how to replace that."
But now he doesn't miss the sport.
"I'm lucky I've got other things that I'm really passionate about now".
He wouldn't mind doing a few recreational runs now and then but that would require living in the Northern Hemisphere.
"There's no skeleton track in the Southern Hemisphere so it's a little bit logistically difficult."
Good luck telling Shyla-Mei Corbett she can't do something
Instead, he is navigating a new Olympic challenge after being appointed chairman of the World Anti-Doping Agency Athletes Committee last month.
Sandford has been on the committee for seven years and will officially start his chairing role next month.
He is openly dissatisfied with the agency's current system of representation and how that has shaped the response to the Russian doping scandal.
It is almost exactly five years since a German TV documentary alleged as many as 99 per cent of Russian athletes were guilty of doping.
This was backed up by commissioned reports and whistleblowers, and hundreds of Russian athletes were banned from the Rio Olympics and last year's Winter Games.
The anti-doping agency then reached a "compromise" with Rusada, Russia's anti-doping agency, from May last year.
In September the agency's executive committee voted 9-2 to reinstate Rusada, despite it failing to acknowledge findings on its state-organised doping operation or hand over thousands of samples.
Sandford was "absolutely gutted" at the time, telling NZME it was " a huge blow for clean athletes".
However, earlier this month Russia copped a new four-year ban from the World Anti-Doping Agency's executive committee, barring it from international sports events, including next year's Tokyo Olympics.
Its athletes will still be able to compete if they can show they are clean.
The sanctions are the harshest punishment yet for Russian state authorities, who were accused of tampering with a Moscow laboratory database - a new violation of anti-doping rules committed as recently as January.
Russia is now appealing the ban.
Sandford says the World Anti-Doping Agency has a "really good investigations unit" - something that didn't exist pre-2015.
Just last month new anti-doping codes were brought in, which don't apply until 2021, but Sandford says they are "a really big step forward".
Sandford says the World Anti-Doping Agency "is much more ahead of the curve" than it was a decade ago and has a closer relationship with pharmaceutical companies so prohibited substances can be tested for before they are on the market.
He says some athletes are being caught using products while they're only in the trial stages "which is really alarming".
"There's a small group of people that are always going to try and get around the rules or circumvent them."
His work for the agency has always been unpaid and that won't change in his new role.
There are some travel expenses covered - and unexpected overtime can be - but the rest is entirely voluntary.
One of the biggest issues facing the committee at the moment, in Sandford's opinion, is the lack of power it has.
Nobody from the committee has a vote on the overriding executive or foundation board, and members of the Athletes Committee aren't voted on by the athletes they advocate for, they're appointed by the agency.
"I would say it's something that needs to be fixed and so we are working through this process at the moment."
He hopes athletes will eventually have seats on the executive.
"At the moment ... we might have something to say but we don't have any power to act on it."
Sandford is a sports law specialist and practices in New Zealand, but most of his work involves property, conveyancing, estates, and commercial law at his father's firm in Rotorua, Sandford & Partners.
He also volunteers for various community groups including his role as secretary for the residents' advocacy group Evolve.
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.
Sandford put his hat in the ring to stand again in 2020, but last month Rotorua human rights lawyer and fellow Evolve member Claire Mahon was selected to stand for Labour instead.
Ben Sandford's skeleton racing
• He represented New Zealand at three Winter Olympics and managed 10th place at the 2006 games in Italy 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 - his uncle Bruce Sandford won gold in the event in 1992.
• That made the two Sandfords the only athletes from the Southern Hemisphere to win world championship medals in skeleton, bobsleigh or luge.