World Anti-Doping Programme

World Anti-Doping Agency (WADA)

Following the events of the Tour de France in 1998, which demonstrated that doping was widespread in the sport of cycling, the International Olympic Committee decided to found an independent World Anti-Doping Agency (WADA) with the aim of bringing together all the partners of the Olympic movement and state organisations. WADA was founded in Lausanne on 10 November 1999 as a foundation under Swiss law. WADA’s mission is to foster and harmonise international anti-doping activities in all areas. Its headquarters are in Lausanne and the main offices are in Montreal, Canada. 

World Anti-Doping Programme (WADP)

WADA’s World Anti-Doping Programme (WADP) was first adopted on 3 March 2003 by the delegates of the international sports federations and governments at a global conference held in Copenhagen. It also received the approval of the International Olympic Committee.  At the beginning of 2004 the World Anti-Doping Code replaced the Olympic movement’s anti-doping code, and since Athens 2004 it has also applied for the Olympic Games. The Code was amended extensively in 2009. Under the direction of WADA, the new WADP 2015 was approved by over 1000 representatives from governments, anti-doping organisations and sport from all over the world in Johannesburg, South Africa on 15 November 2013. It is effective as of January 1, 2015.

During a consultation lasting 18 months, about 4,000 changes were submitted from all over the world and over 2,000 were subsequently incorporated in the Code. The main amendments were: a four-year ban for a serious first offence (e.g. anabolics, EPO); more flexibility in imposing bans; extension of the statute of limitations to ten years; introduction of two new doping offences (complicity, prohibited association).

The WADP is defined on three levels:

  1. World Anti-Doping Code (Code)
  2. five International Standards
  3. a range of Models Rules and Guidelines

Levels 1 (Code) and 2 (International Standards) are mandatory for all Code signatories, such as Swiss Olympic and Antidoping Switzerland.

The Code

The Code is the Programme’s core document that provides the framework for harmonised anti-doping policies, rules and regulations within sport organisations and among public authorities throughout the world.

According to the Code, doping is defined as the occurrence of one or more of the ten anti-doping rule violations set out below:

  1. Presence of a prohibited substance or its metabolites or markers in an athlete’s sample;

  2. Use or attempted use by an athlete of a prohibited substance or a prohibited method;

  3. Evading, refusing or failing to submit to sample collection;

  4. Repeated Whereabouts failures;

  5. Tampering or attempted tampering with any part of a doping control;

  6. Possession of prohibited substances or a prohibited method;

  7. Trafficking or attempted trafficking in any prohibited substance or prohibited method;

  8. Administration or attempted administration to any athlete of any prohibited substance or prohibited method.

  9. Complicity (assisting, encouraging, aiding, abetting, conspiring, covering up) or any other type of intentional complicity involving an anti-doping rule violation, attempted anti-doping rule violation by another person

  10. Prohibited Association by an athlete or other person with any athlete support person who is serving a period of ineligibility or who has been convicted or found in a criminal, disciplinary or professional proceeding to have engaged in conduct which would have constituted a violation of anti-doping rules

International Standards

The Code works in conjunction with five International Standards aimed at bringing harmonization among anti-doping organizations in various technical areas, namely: Prohibited List, Therapeutic Use Exemptions (TUEs), Testing and Investigations, Laboratories, and Protection of Privacy and Personal Information.