Compliance Monitoring

  1. What is "Code compliance"?
  2. Is Code compliance mandatory?
  3. What is WADA’s responsibility in relation to monitoring compliance with the Code?
  4. How does WADA proceed to monitor Code compliance?
  5. How frequently does WADA report on signatories’ compliance?
  6. What are the consequences of an official assertion of non-compliance by WADA’s Executive Committee?

1. What is "Code compliance"? Up

Compliance with the World Anti-Doping Code (Code) — the document harmonizing regulations regarding anti-doping in all sports and all countries — is the situation in which an anti-doping organization (ADO) — an International Sport Federation (IF), a National Anti-Doping Organization (NADO), a Major Games Organizer, etc. — finds itself after completing a three-step process in relation to the Code.

Firstly, an ADO must accept the Code. By doing this, it agrees to the principles of the Code and agrees to implement and comply with the Code. Secondly, the ADO must implement the Code by amending its rules and policies to include mandatory articles and principles of the Code. These anti-doping rules must be submitted to WADA for review, in order for the rules to be pronounced in line with the Code. Lastly, the ADO must enforce its amended rules and policies in accordance with the Code.

The key objective of such harmony is for all athletes to benefit from strong and fair anti-doping policies and protections, that are the same for all, no matter the sport, the nationality or the country where tested.

2. Is Code compliance mandatory? Up

Yes. In order to ensure efficiency of the harmonized fight against doping in sport and fairness for the athletes, compliance with the Code is mandatory for Signatories of the Code, as stated in Article 23.2.1 of the Code: “The Signatories shall implement applicable Code provisions through policies, statutes, rules or regulations according to their authority and within their relevant spheres of responsibility.”

3. What is WADA’s responsibility in relation to monitoring compliance with the Code? Up

The Code assigns WADA the responsibility of monitoring implementation and enforcement of the Code by its Signatories. WADA achieves this in a number of ways. WADA assists ADOs by ensuring their anti-doping regulations are drafted in line with the Code and that these regulations are subsequently enforced in a Code compliant manner. WADA also helps establish Code compliant anti-doping organizations including through Regional Anti-Doping Organizations (RADOs) in areas of the world where resources are limited, for example.

As part of these responsibilities, WADA closely monitors doping cases and exercises its right of appeal (mainly before the Court of Arbitration for Sport) for cases under the jurisdiction of organizations that have implemented the Code.

Should you wish to report a non-conformity, please contact WADA at compliance@wada-ama.org.

4. How does WADA proceed to monitor Code compliance? Up

WADA has been reviewing ADOs’ anti-doping rules since 2003 to check whether they are in line with the Code, and makes its own assessment of the situation of the various ADOs. In particular, WADA checks whether ADOs are implementing the Code into their own rules in relation to anti-doping rule violations, sanctions, WADA’s right of appeal, out-of-competition testing, and compliance with the International Standards.

In addition, WADA monitors the implementation of programs by ADOs, including through questionnaires sent to Signatories, review of available and collected information, and audits. WADA has committed significant resources to follow up with every Signatory with the objective of assisting each of them achieve Code compliance.

WADA’s internal Compliance Taskforce reports to the Compliance Review Committee (CRC) – a WADA Standing Committee – as well as the Agency's Executive Committee and Foundation Board. The CRC is an independent, non-political committee tasked with providing independent advice, guidance and recommendations to WADA’s Management and governing bodies on matters relating to Code compliance. WADA’s Executive Committee is the body that has authority to assert a Signatory’s non-compliance following recommendation from the CRC.

This Code compliance monitoring process is ISO-certified.

5. How frequently does WADA report on signatories’ compliance? Up

WADA's management reports on the implementation and enforcement of the Code by its Signatories to the Agency’s Executive Committee and Foundation Board at each of their meetings. The CRC can provide recommendations of non-compliance. Situations of non-compliance are made public (Code Article 23.5.5).

In case of non-conformity of a Signatory, WADA follows the corrective procedures set out in the International Standard for Code Compliance by Signatories (ISCC) before sending a formal notice to the Signatory. This notice is publicly reported in accordance with the ISCCS.  (Code Article 23.5.4).

6. What are the consequences of an official assertion of non-compliance by WADA’s Executive Committee? Up

The International Standard for Code Compliance by Signatories (ISCCS), which came into force on 1 April 2018, sets a legal framework for consequences of non-compliance. Article 11 and Annex B of the ISCCS provide a range of consequences that may be imposed on a Signatory that has failed to comply with the Code and/or the International Standards, and the principles to determine the consequences to be applied in a particular case.

This works in conjunction with relevant articles of the World Anti-Doping Code, in particular Article 20, which was subject to a number of amendments that came into force on 1 April 2018 as well.