World Anti-Doping Code and Code Compliance

The Central Asia Regional Anti-Doping Organization

The World Anti-Doping Program

The World Anti-Doping Program encompasses all of the elements needed in order to ensure optimal harmonization and best practice in international and national anti-doping programs.

The main elements are:

Level 1: The Code

Level 2: International Standards and Technical Documents

Level 3: Models of Best Practice and Guidelines

The World Anti-Doping Code is the fundamental and universal document upon which the World Anti-Doping Program in sport is based. The purpose of the Code is to advance the anti-doping effort through universal harmonization of core anti-doping elements. It is intended to be specific enough to achieve complete harmonization on issues where uniformity is required, yet general enough in other areas to permit flexibility on how agreed-upon anti-doping principles are implemented. The Code has been drafted giving consideration to the principles of proportionality and human rights.

The World Anti-Doping Code (the Code) was first adopted in 2004 and is the document that harmonises regulations regarding anti-doping across all sports and all countries. 

The Code was never designed to be a document that stood still. As anti-doping developed, so would the ideas that would form future rules, regulations and policies. The fully collaborative review process involves the whole anti-doping community, all of whom seek to strengthen the Code for the benefit of athletes around the world.  

WADA began its third review of the Code in 2017. This was finalized in November 2019. The 2021 World Anti-Doping Code came into effect on 1 January 2021. 

Code Compliance

To date, approximately 700 sport organizations have accepted the World Anti-Doping Code. These organizations include the International Olympic Committee (IOC), the International Paralympic Committee (IPC), International Federations (IFs) (including all IOC-recognized IFs), National Olympic and Paralympic Committees, as well as National and Regional Anti-Doping Organizations (NADOs and RADOs)

Signatories are required to undertake three steps in order to be fully compliant with the Code: acceptance, implementation, and enforcement.

Code acceptance means that a Signatory agrees to the principles of the Code and agrees to implement and comply with the Code.

Once a Signatory accepts the Code, it must then implement it. The implementation of the Code is the process that a Signatory goes through to amend its rules and policies so that all mandatory articles and principles of the Code are included.

Finally, enforcement refers to the Signatory actually enforcing its amended rules and policies in accordance with the Code.

Code Signatories

Sport organizations within the following categories have accepted the Code:

  • Olympic Movement
  • National Anti-Doping Organizations
  • Outside the Olympic Movement

The list of Code Signatories is available here

How to Become Code Compliant

Steps for a NADO to become Code Compliant:

Step 1: Acceptance

  • Agree to both the principles of the Code and implement and comply with the Code.
  • Develop the NADO Rules based on WADA’s Model Rules for NADOs. The Rules need to be submitted to WADA for review and acceptance.

Step 2: Implementation

  • Develop or amend existing local NADO policies, statutes, regulations, etc. to include the mandatory articles and principles of the Code.
  • Translate the revised NADO rules and revised NADO policies etc. into your respective official language (if necessary).

Step 3: Code Enforcement

  • Inform National Federations (NF) of the revised NADO rules and policies in accordance with the Code.
  • Ensure NFs sign an undertaking to abide by the Code and the relevant anti-doping policies.