13 November 2019
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WADA publishes videos celebrating its 20th anniversary

The World Anti-Doping Agency (WADA) is pleased to publish a video celebrating its 20th anniversary leading a collaborative worldwide movement for doping-free sport, which was premiered during the Agency’s fifth World Conference on Doping in Sport in Katowice, Poland from 5-7 November. The video features a number of WADA’s external and internal stakeholders speaking of how WADA came about, its leaders, its progress and its challenges.

The Agency also wishes to share two other videos, which feature athletes and other stakeholders wishing WADA a happy 20th anniversary:

  1. Athletes
  2. Other stakeholders

Addressing the over 1,500 World Conference participants last week, WADA President Sir Craig Reedie said: “It is remarkable to think of how far WADA and, by extension, the global anti-doping program has come over these two decades. With the energy of everyone – athletes, governments, sports, laboratories, National and Regional Anti-Doping Organizations, and all those interested in the integrity of sport – I have no doubt that WADA will continue to be at the forefront of protecting clean sport for the next 20 years and far beyond.”

The anti-doping movement, as we know it today, was the result of crises in sport; in particular, the Festina cycling scandal back in 1998. At the time, there was no one answer to tackling doping. Every sport had different rules and countries had different laws so an athlete could, for example, be banned in one country or sport but be able to compete in others. Accordingly, doping started to be seen as the most serious threat to the values of sport.

In February 1999, the first World Conference on Doping in Sport brought together all parties involved in Lausanne; and, resulted in the Lausanne Declaration on Doping in Sport. This document provided for the creation of an independent international anti-doping agency to be operational for the 2000 Olympic and Paralympic Games in Sydney, Australia.

Pursuant to the terms of the Lausanne Declaration, WADA was established on 10 November 1999 to promote and coordinate the fight against doping in sport internationally; and, started operating later that year as a unique 50-50 partnership between the Sports Movement and Governments of the world.

What followed quickly was the coming into force of the first version of the World Anti-Doping Code (Code) in 2004, which is the fundamental and universal document upon which the World Anti-Doping Program is based. It harmonizes anti-doping policies, rules and regulations within sport organizations and among public authorities around the globe. The Code works in conjunction with International Standards that aim to foster consistency among anti-doping organizations in areas such as: testing; laboratories; Therapeutic Use Exemptions (TUEs); the List of Prohibited Substances and Methods; the protection of privacy and personal information; Code Compliance by Signatories; and, effective January 2021, results management; and, education.  

In parallel, in 2005, the UNESCO Convention Against Doping in Sport was adopted, which is the practical instrument by which governments formalize their commitment to the fight against doping. It allows governments to align their domestic policies with the Code, thus harmonizing the rules governing anti-doping in sport and public legislation. The Convention is now ratified by 188 countries, covering around 99% of the world’s population.

Last week’s World Conference concluded with WADA’s Foundation Board approving the fourth version of the Code and the Agency’s Executive Committee approving the International Standards. All these documents will come into force on 1 January 2021.