What is the World Anti-Doping Agency?

9th August 2019
The World Anti-Doping Agency regulates the substances allowed and not allowed for athletes. Created in 1999, it’s the ultimate authority when it comes to the use of illicit substances. Do you know how this Agency works?

The World Anti-Doping Agency (WADA) is an international institution. Founded in 1999, its main role is to coordinate efforts to prevent the use of drugs in sport. Located in Lausanne, Switzerland, they currently review the sporting use of illicit substances.

The creation of the WADA and the functions of the agency were specified according to international parameters. Before its existence, sports federations and institutions tried to control cases of doping, but in a disjointed manner. Now, the World Anti-Doping Agency is the ultimate authority when it comes to the use of illicit substances.

Origin of the World Anti-Doping Agency

With the development of the Festina investigation in 1998, a dark shadow was cast over almost all of the participating teams of the Tour de France.

The crisis involved a doping network and originated in cycling. This motivated the International Olympic Committee to create a rule on doping in sport. These efforts resulted in the Lausanne Declaration.

This document established the creation of the independent international body for anti-doping control on November 10, 1999. The first Olympic Games overseen by the WADA were the Sydney Games, held in 2000.

World Anti-Doping Agency

The Doping Code

The Doping Code is a document that articulates rules and measures for anti-doping within sports. The document, published by the World Anti-Doping Agency, was first released in 2003. Since then, it’s regularly updated.

The Doping Code regulates anti-doping tests and laboratories. It also covers the personal privacy of those affected.

Basically, the function of this regulation is to unify standards, sanctions, and anti-doping control. Sports federations accept, implement and comply with the code. This has reformed various sports on many occasions.

The work of the World Anti-Doping Agency ensures that sports institutions assume compliance. The public institutions of the countries must also adhere to the regulations of this document.

List of prohibited substances

The list of prohibited substances is one of the main regulations in the area of ​​anti-doping control. Defining banned substances and analysis of athletes, the last update came into effect on January 1, 2019. 

Moreover, the list adapts to the Doping Code updates. For example, regulations introduced in 2019 were in regard to genetic doping.

Doping athletes

Structure of the World Anti-Doping Agency

An executive committee, a general assembly, working groups, and commissions are the teams that form the WADA. Ultimately, the legislative body is the one that makes the decisions. In total, 38 representatives form this team.

In practice, 18 of these representatives are part of sports associations and public entities of different countries. The remainder is from international sports organizations. Within the executive committee, it’s the president of the organization who offers follow-up information and moderates the sessions.

The work commissions divided by themes. They address the following issues: finance, education, health, and research.

Finally, on May 14, 2019, the new president of the WADA was elected. Currently, this is Witold Banka, Minister of Tourism and Sports in Poland.

  • Agencia Antidopaje. Código Mundial Antidopaje. Extraído de: https://www.wada-ama.org/sites/default/files/resources/files/wada-code-2009-esp.pdf
  • Antonio J. Luque Rubia; José Antonio Villegas García. Guía del dopaje. Extraído de: https://deportes.carm.es/documents/4370836/5494168/2_ADJ_793.pdf/5fe0410b-5c37-4d70-9338-92d6a19f29eb?version=1.0