How Anti-Doping is Governed

Clean Sport is the ambition of many different sports and government agencies across the world. The aim for all agencies involved in anti-doping is to educate, deter, detect and prosecute people involved in doping, to keep sport clean.

Anti-doping is regulated globally by the World Anti-Doping Agency (WADA), jointly funded by the sports movement and governments.

Athletes are at the centre of the work undertaken by several organisations to ensure clean competition at every level. These include UK Anti-Doping, WADA, your International Federation, the International Olympic Committee (IOC), the International Paralympic Committee (IPC) and national Olympic and Paralympic Committees.

Athletes, especially those competing internationally, should take interest in the global clean sport movement and understand fully which anti-doping organisation has jurisdiction over them at any given time.

The facts - who’s who in clean sport?

The World Anti-Doping Agency (WADA): Globally, anti-doping is governed by WADA, whose mission is to ‘lead a collaborative worldwide movement for doping-free sport’. The World Anti-Doping Code seeks to harmonise the rules, policies and regulations regarding anti-doping across all sports and all countries so that it is fair for all.

The Role of UK Anti-Doping (UKAD): In the UK, anti-doping is governed by UKAD, working to protect the right of athletes to participate in clean sport. It is responsible for overseeing the management and implementation of the UK’s National Anti-Doping Policy and ensures that sports bodies in the UK comply with the Policy and World Anti-Doping Code.

UNESCO, Council of Europe and governments: Both UNESCO and the Council of Europe have anti-doping conventions. These instruments are ratified by governments across the world, committing them to specific anti-doping responsibilities, such as sharing of intelligence across public agencies, national legislation, and that a National Anti-Doping Organisations exists.

International Federations (IFs): IFs are required by the World Anti-Doping Code to undertake anti-doping activities. These include conducting testing both in- and out-of-competition, providing education programmes and sanctioning those who commit Anti-Doping Rule Violations.

International Olympic and Paralympic Committee, Commonwealth Games Federation (IOC, IPC, CGF): The IOC and IPC are responsible under the Code for all the anti-doping functions during the Olympic and Paralympic Games, respectively. This includes managing the testing programme and sanctioning those who commit Anti-Doping Rule Violations at the Games.

National Olympic and Paralympic Committees (NOC, NPC), National Commonwealth Games Agencies (CGAs): NOCs, NPCs and CGAs are also required to implement the Code. In the UK, this is the British Olympic Association and the British Paralympic Association. To support their anti-doping responsibilities and collaboration with UKAD, there is a UK Clean Games Policy that ensure athletes and athlete support personnel are educated prior to attending a Major Games.

What that means for you

The World Anti-Doping Code provides the framework for harmonising anti-doping policies, rules and regulations globally. Published by WADA, a revised Code came into effect on 1 January 2015. A revised Code is currently in development and will come into effect on 1st January 2021.

The Code is underpinned by six International Standards for how anti-doping programmes should be implemented:

  • The Prohibited List
  • The International Standard for Testing
  • The International Standard for Laboratories
  • The International Standard for Therapeutic Use Exemptions (TUEs)
  • The International Standard for the Protection of Privacy and Personal Information
  • The International Standard for Code Compliance by Signatories

Two new International Standards are currently being developed and consulted on with stakeholders for approval at the World Conference on Doping in November 2019:

  • The International Standard for Education
  • The International Standard for Results Management

What you should do

  • Take an interest in the global work of agencies helping to protect clean sport
  • Follow UKAD and WADA on twitter to stay up to date on the latest news
  • Find out more about the work of UKAD’s Athlete Committee
  • Consider working with your NGB to help them educate and inform athletes on their rights and responsibilities as they relate to anti-doping

Where to go for further advice

  • Visit the WADA website and the What We Do section to find out more
  • For the work of government visit the UNESCO and CoE websites