It is with great sorrow that we inform you of the passing of George Ruijsch Van Dugteren on July 31, 2017 in Cape Town. Born on September 19, 1944 in Amsterdam, George R. Van Dugteren was a retired Paediatric Nephrologist.
Of Dutch nationality but resident in South Africa for all his life except his early childhood, George Ruijsch Van Dugteren was president of the South African Fencing Association from 1990 to 2005. In this role, he led South Africa back into full and active membership of the international fencing family, promoting our sport in South Africa and encouraging its introduction and development throughout the African continent.
He was South African Epée Champion in 1966 and 1967. In 1997, he organised an outstanding world championships in Cape Town, with an accompanying FIE ordinary congress. In 1999, he was awarded the Chevalier Feyerick Trophy, together with the South African Fencing Federation, for his and their contribution to the development of fencing on the African continent. In 2012, he was elected member of the FIE Hall of Fame.
A member of the FIE Medical Commission from 1992 to 2016 and its President from 2004 to 2008, he chaired its anti-doping committee from 2002 to 2016. He has been the mainstay of the FIE's fight against doping throughout that period, and continued in that role when no longer a member of the Medical Commission. He has been responsible for the FIE's anti-doping code throughout this time, including its total rewriting to bring it structurally into compliance with the new WADA code. In 2010, he created the FIE anti-doping education programme, which he managed and animated at each FIE Junior and Cadet World Championships.
Such was his expertise, experience and reputation in anti-doping matters that he became President of the UCI Anti-Doping Commission (2007 - 2013), President of Cycling Anti-Doping Foundation (since 2013), a Member of WADA Prohibited List Committee (2001 – 2004), and Co-ordinator of the WADA List Committee “Working Group” (2001 - 2004).
He had been a member of the NOCSA (National Olympic Committee of South Africa) from 1992 to 1996, a Member of the ANOCA (the Association of National Olympic Committees of Africa) Medical Commission (1993– 1996), a Member of the NOCSA Anti-Doping Commission (1996 - 2008), Chairman of NOCSA Anti-Doping Commission (2005 – 2008) and Board Member of the South African Institute for Drug-Free Sport (1997 – 2002).
The FIE and the sport of fencing have lost a talented and remarkable expert, fully dedicated to the lead role in protecting our athletes from doping. But above all, the fencing family has lost one of its members, a great friend who was appreciated and respected by all.
We would like to extend our sincere condolences and sympathy to his family, friends, to the Netherlands Fencing Federation and to the South African Fencing Federation in these difficult times.