Valérie Fourneyron

Valérie Fourneyron (French pronunciation: ​[va.le.ʁiɔ̃] ; born 4 October 1959) is a former French politician of the Socialist Party (PS) who has been serving as Chair of the Board of the International Testing Agency (ITA) since 2017. She previously served as Junior Minister for Crafts, Trade, Tourism and Social Economy in the government of Prime Minister Manuel Valls from 2014 until 2017. She was also a member of the National Assembly and the Mayor of Rouen.

Valérie Fourneyron
Valérie Fourneyron (2).jpg
Fourneyron in 2013
State Secretary for Crafts, Trade, Tourism and Social Economy
In office
9 April 2014 (2014-04-09) – 14 May 2017 (2017-05-14)
PresidentFrançois Hollande
Prime MinisterManuel Valls
Preceded bySylvia Pinel
(Crafts, Trade and Tourism)
Benoît Hamon
(Social Economy)
Minister of Sports, Youth, Popular Education and Community Life
In office
16 May 2012 (2012-05-16) – 31 March 2014 (2014-03-31)
PresidentFrançois Hollande
Prime MinisterJean-Marc Ayrault
Preceded byDavid Douillet (Sports)
Luc Chatel (Youth and Community Life)
Succeeded byNajat Vallaud-Belkacem
Member of the National Assembly
for Seine-Maritime's 1st constituency
In office
20 June 2007 (2007-06-20) – 21 July 2012 (2012-07-21)
Preceded byPatrick Herr
Succeeded byPierre Léautey
Mayor of Rouen
In office
9 March 2008 (2008-03-09) – 27 June 2012 (2012-06-27)
Preceded byPierre Albertini
Succeeded byYvon Robert
General Councillor for the administrative district of Rouen-5
In office
29 March 2004 (2004-03-29) – 16 March 2008 (2008-03-16)
Preceded byRichard Picot
Succeeded byChristine Rambaud
Regional Councillor of Upper Normandy Regional Council
In office
16 March 1998 (1998-03-16) – 1 July 2007 (2007-07-01)
Succeeded byLaurence Tison
Personal details
Valérie Absire

(1959-10-04) 4 October 1959 (age 62)
Le Petit-Quevilly, France
Political partySocialist Party

Early lifeEdit

Born to a middle-class tanner family of the area of Rouen, Valérie Absire grew up in a family with conservative views, which she shared as a teenager. At 14, she supported Valéry Giscard d'Estaing during the 1974 presidential campaign. This support was later used against her on various occasions by local political opponents. In the 1980s, her political views shifted to the left.[1][2]

According to the French National Medical Council (Conseil National de l'Ordre des Médecins), Fourneyron is a medical practitioner. From 1984 to 1989, she was a sport doctor in the teaching hospital of Rouen (CHU de Rouen) and then she became a medical inspector (Médecin Inspecteur Régional Jeunesse et Sports – MIRJS).

In 1989, Fourneyron joined the Ministry of Sports where she was in charge of both the organisation and monitoring of the national sports medicine program and of the co-ordination of the Team Physicians of national sports teams. As part of her duties, Valérie Fourneyron helped draft the 1989 Anti-Doping Act. From 1991 to 1995, she was head physician of the regional center of sport medicine in Sotteville-lès-Rouen and Team physician of the French volleyball team. She was also Team Physician of the Rouen Hockey Élite 76.[3]

Political careerEdit

Fourneyron became politically active in 1995 when Yvon Robert, the Socialist candidate for the Rouen City Council, asked her to join his team. From 1995 to 2001, Valérie Fourneyron was first deputy-mayor in charge of sports and then first deputy-mayor in charge of city policy, health and security. In 1998, she was a member of an interdepartmental group that prepared a report on sports medicine and doping and she collaborated with the working group in charge of writing the new legislation regarding doping.

During the 1998 regional election, Fourneyron became vice-president of sports when she was elected to the Upper Normandy Regional Council as part of the left-wing coalition led by Alain Le Vern. She was re-elected in 2004 and remained vice-president. When she was elected to the National Assembly, she resigned from her seat in the Regional Council on 1 July 2007. She represented the French Socialist Party in the 2002 legislative election. She faced the outgoing MP Patrick Herr, representing the right party UMP, in Seine-Maritime's first constituency. She narrowly lost in the second round by 520 votes. After the campaign, she said that she was hurt by the harsh attacks against her: “I was accused of being a bad mother because I didn't stop my political career when I lost one of my sons in a scooter accident. But my children are the reasons why I decided to keep going.[4]

After the 2004 General Council election, Fourneyron was general councillor for the canton of Rouen-5. She resigned from her position as a municipal representative.

Fourneyron was chosen for a second time by the French Socialist Party for the 2007 legislative election. She beat the UMP candidate Bruno Devaux in the second round and she was elected with 55.16% of votes.[5] The former MP Patrick Herr had decided not to campaign for this election. At the National Assembly, she became vice-president of the SRC in charge of sports.[6]

In 2008, Fourneyron campaigned for the municipal election in Rouen. On 9 March, she led a left-wing coalition and won against outgoing mayor Pierre Albertini in the first round, with 55.79% of the votes.[7] On this occasion, she became one of the few women to lead a city of more than 100,000 inhabitants. Other women who are mayors of cities this large include Hélène Mandroux, Maryse Joissains, Martine Aubry, Adeline Hazan, Dominique Voynet, and Huguette Bello. She joined the association of mayors of major French cities (Association des Maires de Grandes Villes de France – AMGVF) where she was in charge of sports-related issues.

In July 2011, Fourneyron joined Martine Aubry's campaign team, representing the French Socialist Party in the 2012 presidential election. Along with athlete Yohann Diniz, Valérie Fourneyron was responsible for sports-related issues.[8] After the primary election, François Hollande included her in his campaign team, putting her in charge of sports-related issues for the 2012 presidential election.[9]

On 16 May 2012, Fourneyron was appointed Minister of Sports, Youth, Popular Education and Community Life. Pierre Léautey replaced her as alternate MP after her re-election on 17 June 2012.[10] One of François Hollande's 60 campaign promises was to prohibit MPs from holding multiple elected positions simultaneously, so this forced Fourneyron to resign from the Rouen city council.[11] Yvon Robert took over her position on 27 June 2012.[12] During

After Jean-Marc Ayrault's resignation as a Prime Minister, Fourneyron was appointed as Junior Minister for Crafts, Trade, Tourism and Social Economy in Manuel Valls's Cabinet on 9 April 2014.[13]

World Anti-Doping AgencyEdit

In December 2017 the International Olympic Committee's World Anti-Doping Agency appointed Fourneyron as Chair of the Board of the International Testing Agency (ITA). In this capacity, she was in charge of screening Russians to judge if they can participate in the Pyeongchang Olympics.[14] In 2016 she campaigned for a blanket ban of all Russians from international sports events.[15][16][17]


  1. ^ (in French) Valérie Fourneyron, Une pour Tous, Le Monde, 11 March 2008.
  2. ^ (in French) Histoires de Familles, L'Express, 6 June 2002.
  3. ^ (in French) Valérie Fourneyron Official Biography, Minister of the Economy.
  4. ^ (in French) Valérie Fourneyron, la battante, L'Express, 24 January 2008.
  5. ^ (in French) 2007 Legislative Election Results, French Interior Ministry
  6. ^ (in French) French National Assembly Official Biography, National Assembly
  7. ^ (in French) 2008 City Council Election Results, French Interior Ministry
  8. ^ (in French) Valérie Fourneyron supports Martine Aubry, Paris-Normandie, 15 July 2011.
  9. ^ (in French) Valérie Fourneyron joins François Hollande’s Campaign Team, Tendance Ouest, 16 November 2011.
  10. ^ (in French) 2012 Legislative Election Results, French Interior Ministry
  11. ^ (in French) Crea : its future after Laurent Fabius’ nomination Paris-Normandie, 18 May 2012.
  12. ^ (in French) Yvon Robert is back as Mayor of Rouen. Paris-Normandie, 9 July 2012.
  13. ^ (in French) Décret du 9 avril 2014 relatif à la composition du Gouvernement, JORF n°0085 of 10 April 2014, p. 6560.
  14. ^ "Panel deciding Russian athletes for Pyeongchang 2018 to include Younger as WADA representative".
  15. ^ "Valérie Fourneyron : «Un rapport accablant, sidérant» sur le dopage en Russie - Libération". Archived from the original on 3 January 2018.
  16. ^ "Pas d'exclusion de la Russie des JO de Rio: " C'est une grande déception "".
  17. ^ "Russie : "Il n'y a jamais eu une telle organisation du système de dopage" (V. Fourneyron, AMA)". 18 July 2016.