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World Anti-Doping Agency Code and International Standards

One of the most significant advancements in the history of the fight against doping in sport has been the drafting, acceptance and implementation of the World Anti-Doping Agency (WADA) Code.

The WADA Code is the first document to harmonise anti-doping regulations and provide a uniform set of anti-doping policies across all sports, for all athletes and in all countries. To date over 200 governments and over 500 sports organisations worldwide, including the IRB and RFU, have adopted the code.

The first version of the World Anti-Doping Code came into force on the 1st January 2004, with a revised version coming into effect on the 1st January 2009. The purpose of the code is to:

  • Protect athletes’ fundamental right to participate in doping-free sport and thus promote health, fairness and equality for athletes worldwide
  • Ensure harmonized, coordinated and effective anti-doping programmes at the international and national level with regard to detection, deterrence and prevention of doping 

The code aims to advance the anti-doping effort through universal harmonisation of core anti-doping elements and best practice in international and national anti-doping programmes.

International Standards

It specifies the responsibilities of those that adopt the code and is supported by five international standards, outlining mandatory systems and processes for key areas such as:

  • The Prohibited List
  • Testing
  • Therapeutic Use Exemptions (TUEs)
  • Laboratories
  • Protection of Privacy and Personal Information

For further information on WADA, the Code and the five International Standards please visit the WADA website.


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