World Anti-Doping Agency

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World Anti-Doping Agency
WADA logo.jpg
Motto Play True
Formation November 10, 1999; 14 years ago (1999-11-10)
Type non profit
Purpose/focus Anti-sports doping
Headquarters Montreal, Quebec
Location Montreal, Quebec
Coordinates 45°30′03″N 73°33′43″W / 45.500933°N 73.561846°W / 45.500933; -73.561846Coordinates: 45°30′03″N 73°33′43″W / 45.500933°N 73.561846°W / 45.500933; -73.561846
Region served International
Official languages English, French
President Craig Reedie
Affiliations International Olympic Committee

The World Anti-Doping Agency (WADA; French: Agence mondiale antidopage) is an independent foundation created through a collective initiative led by the International Olympic Committee (IOC). It was set up on November 10, 1999 in Lausanne, Switzerland, as a result of what was called the "Declaration of Lausanne",[1] to promote, coordinate and monitor the fight against drugs in sport. WADA is responsible for the World Anti-Doping Code, adopted by more than 600 sports organizations, including international sports federations, national anti-doping organizations, the IOC, and the International Paralympic Committee. Its current President is former Australian finance minister John Fahey, who in 2008 succeeded to Dick Pound, a former IOC vice-president and outspoken opponent of drugs in sport. In 2001, WADA voted to move its headquarters to Montreal, Quebec, Canada, the following year.

Initially funded by the International Olympic Committee, WADA now receives half of its budgetary requirements from them, with the other half coming from various governments throughout the world. Its governing bodies are also composed in equal parts by representatives from the sporting movement (including athletes) and governments of the world. The agency's key activities include scientific research, education, development of anti-doping capacities and monitoring of the World Anti-Doping Code – the document harmonizing regulations regarding anti-doping in all sports and countries. It also produces an annual list of prohibited substances and methods that sportspersons are not allowed to take or use.

World Anti-Doping Code[edit]

In 2004, the World Anti-Doping Code was implemented by sports organizations prior to the Olympic Games in Athens, Greece, harmonizing the rules and regulations governing anti-doping across all sports and all countries for the first time. More than 600 sports organizations (international sports federations, national anti-doping organizations, International Olympic Committee, International Paralympic Committee, a number of professional leagues in various countries of the world, etc.) have Following an extensive consultation period, revisions to the World Anti-Doping Code were unanimously adopted at the Third World Conference on Doping in Sport in November 2007 to incorporate the experience gained from the enforcement of the initial Code. These revisions, which include a number of measures strengthening the global fight against doping in sport, took effect on 1 January 2009.

In 2013, further amendments to the Code were approved. The changes double the sanction for a first offence where intentional doping is established, but allow for more lenient sanctions for inadvertent rule violations or for athletes co-operating with anti-doping agencies. The updated code takes effect on 1 January 2015.[2][3]

Council of Europe Anti-Doping Convention[edit]

The Anti-Doping Convention of the Council of Europe in Strasbourg was opened for signature on 16 December 1989 as the first multilateral legal standard in this field. It has been signed by 48 states including the Council of Europe non-member states Australia, Belarus, Canada and Tunisia. The Convention is open for signature by other non-European states. It does not claim to create a universal model of anti-doping, but sets a certain number of common standards and regulations requiring Parties to adopt legislative, financial, technical, educational and other measures. In this sense the Convention strives for the same general aims as WADA, without being directly linked to it.

The main objective of the Convention is to promote the national and international harmonisation of the measures to be taken against doping. Furthermore the Convention describes the mission of the Monitoring Group set up in order to monitor its implementation and periodically re-examine the list of prohibited substances and methods which can be found in annex to the main text.

An additional protocol to the Convention entered into force on 1 April 2004 with the aim of ensuring the mutual recognition of anti-doping controls and of reinforcing the implementation of the Convention using a binding control system.

UNESCO International Convention against Doping in Sport[edit]

Given that many governments cannot be legally bound by a non-governmental document such as the World Anti-Doping Code, they are implementing it by individually ratifying the UNESCO International Convention against Doping in Sport, the first global international treaty against doping in sport, which was unanimously adopted by 191 governments at the UNESCO General Conference in October 2005 and came into force in February 2007. As of June 2013, 174 states have ratified the Convention, setting a UNESCO record in terms of speed.

The UNESCO Convention is a practical and legally binding tool enabling governments to align domestic policy with the World Anti-Doping Code, thus harmonizing the rules governing anti-doping in sport. It formalizes governments' commitment to the fight against doping in sport, including by facilitating doping controls and supporting national testing programs; encouraging the establishment of "best practice" in the labelling, marketing, and distribution of products that might contain prohibited substances; withholding financial support from those who engage in or support doping; taking measures against manufacturing and trafficking; encouraging the establishment of codes of conduct for professions relating to sport and anti-doping; and funding education and research.


Statistical validity[edit]

Professor Donald A. Berry has argued that the closed systems used by anti-doping agencies do not allow statistical validation of the tests.[4] This argument was seconded by an accompanying editorial in the journal Nature (August 7, 2008).[5] The anti-doping community and scientists familiar with anti-doping work rejected these arguments. On October 30, 2008, Nature (Vol 455) published a Letter from WADA to the Editor countering Berry's article.


In spite of a growing awareness of, and catering for the condition paruresis by a number of other drug testing agencies, some of which deal with convicted prisoners and those on probation, the WADA urine sampling rules do not at present cater to sufferers of this condition.[citation needed]

Whereabouts controversy[edit]

The current anti-doping code revised the "Whereabouts" system in place since 2004, now requiring athletes to select one hour per day, seven days a week to be available for no-notice drugs tests.[6]

This has led to a legal challenge from Sporta, the Belgian sports union, who argue that the system violates Article 8 of the European Convention on Human Rights.[7]

FIFPro is also preparing a challenge based on data protection and employment law.[7]

A significant number of sports organizations, governments, athletes, and other individuals and organizations have expressed support for the new Whereabouts requirements. The International Association of Athletics Federations[8] and UK Sport[9] are two of the most vocal supporters of this rule. Tennis all-time great Roger Federer has also expressed approval for rigorous testing saying that "the guy is cheating and they are smart, right?" [10] Both FIFA and UEFA have criticized the system citing privacy concerns,[11] as has the BCCI.[12]

WADA has also published a Q&A explaining the rationale for the change.[13]

It was revealed in May 2011 that the National Football League, which had previously resisted more stringent drug testing may allow WADA to conduct its drug tests instead of doing it in house. This could lead the way to testing for HGH, which had previously been without testing in professional American football. [14]

See also[edit]


  1. ^ Staff (February 4, 1999). "Lausanne Declaration on Doping in Sport".,. 
  2. ^ "Drugs in sport: Wada doubles doping ban in new code". BBC Sport. 2013-11-15. Retrieved 2014-01-21. 
  3. ^ 2015 World Anti-Doping Code - Final Draft WADA. Retrieved 21 January 2014.
  4. ^ Berry DA (August 2008). "The science of doping". Nature 454 (7205): 692–3. doi:10.1038/454692a. PMID 18685682. 
  5. ^ "A level playing field?". Nature 454 (7205): 667. August 2008. doi:10.1038/454667a. PMID 18685647. 
  6. ^ "Athletes air issues over testing". BBC News. 16 February 2009. 
  7. ^ a b Slater, Matt (22 January 2009). "Legal threat to anti-doping code". BBC News. 
  8. ^ IAAF opinion on "new" whereabouts requirements
  9. ^ UK Sport Statement on Whereabouts
  10. ^
  11. ^
  12. ^
  13. ^ WADA Q&A on Whereabouts
  14. ^ WADA to test NFL

External links[edit]