2021 World Anti-Doping Code FAQs

The World Anti-Doping Code is the document that harmonises regulations regarding anti-doping in sport across all sports and all countries of the world. The current 2015 Code is being reviewed and it is expected that a revised Code will be adopted in November 2019 for implementation on January 1 2021.

It provides a framework for anti-doping policies, rules, and regulations for sport organisations and public authorities.

If your question about the Code is not addressed in the FAQs below, please email ukad@ukad.org.uk.

What are the key changes to the Code?

UK Anti-Doping will publish a summary of the key changes once the 2021 Code has been adopted.

Why does it need revising?

The Code is a living document, and the World Anti-Doping Agency (WADA) ensures it evolves regularly by engaging in extensive consultation and thorough review of the Code and its associated International Standards on a periodic basis.

Amendments to the original Code went into force on January 1 2009, with further changes implemented in the current third edition, effective January 1 2015. As doping and anti-doping continue to evolve, the Code needs to reflect these changes.

Article 23.6 of the 2015 Code states that: “WADA shall initiate proposed amendments to the Code and shall ensure a consultative process to both receive and respond to recommendations and to facilitate review and feedback from athletes, signatories and governments on recommended amendments. Amendments to the Code shall, after appropriate consultation, be approved by a two-thirds majority of the WADA Foundation Board including a majority of both the public sector and Olympic Movement members casting vote.”

How does the UK implement the Code?

Many governments cannot be legally bound by a non-governmental document such as the Code. Governments have accordingly drafted, pursuant to the Code, an International Convention under the auspices of UNESCO, the United Nations body responsible for education, science, and culture, to allow formal recognition of WADA and the Code.

The UNESCO-led International Convention against Doping in Sport was unanimously adopted by the 33rd UNESCO General Conference in Paris in October 2005 and went into force in February 2007.

What is UKAD's Code implementation timeline?

UKAD will appoint a Code Implementation Manager to oversee the project, supported by key personnel from across the organisation, specifically identified for their subject expertise, in two distinct project phases. A Code implementation timeline will run from November 2019 through to January 1 2021.

Changes to the UK Anti-Doping Rules are likely during 2020 before they come into effect on January 1 2021. A comprehensive communications plan will ensure stakeholders are kept regularly updated while new Education resources will be prepared and be made available during 2020.

When and how will the 2021 Code be agreed by WADA?

A revised World Anti-Doping Code and International Standards are expected to be  agreed by the WADA Foundation Board at the World Conference on Doping in Sport in Warsaw in November 2019.

This will be the result of over 18 months of global consultation by WADA.

What is UKAD's role in the Code review process?

UKAD undertook a comprehensive review of the World Anti-Doping Code as part of the Code Review process. UKAD invited National Governing Bodies of Sport across the UK, the Home Country Sports Councils and other bodies to comment on the World Anti-Doping Code as part of the UK's submission.

Each of the Code drafts and further information on the consultation process can be found on the WADA website.

What about the UK Anti-Doping Rules?

UKAD will draft updated Rules, that are expected to come into effect on January 1 2021. You can download the current rules as a PDF here.

What support and resources does UKAD have for NGBs and Partners?

UKAD has produced a suite of tools, resources and template text for NGBs and Partners to read and download which cover the 2015 Code and will update these for the 2021 Code.

Where can I go for more information?

The World Anti-Doping Agency has published information on the 2015 Code and the 2021 Code review, while we Tweet information, hints and reminders regularly via @ukantidoping.

If you require more information and your question is not answered here, please email us at ukad@ukad.org.uk.