International Standards

The World Anti-Doping Code (Code) is the core document that harmonizes anti-doping policies, rules and regulations within sport organizations and among public authorities around the world. It works in conjunction with the following eight International Standards that aim to foster consistency among anti-doping organizations in various areas.

     1. Prohibited List

     2. Testing and investigations

     3. Laboratories

     4. Therapeutic Use Exemptions (TUEs)

     5. Protection of Privacy and Personal Information

     6. Code Compliance by Signatories

     7. Education

     8. Results Management

These International Standards have been the subject of lengthy consultation processes with WADA’s stakeholders and are mandatory for all Signatories of the Code.

Prohibited List

The Prohibited List  is updated annually following an extensive consultation process facilitated by WADA. The List identifies the substances and methods prohibited in- and out-of-competition, and in particular sports. The substances and methods on the List are classified by different categories (e.g., steroids, stimulants, gene doping, specified vs non-specified etc.).

The current List of Prohibited Substances and Methods is available for download, and online reference.

Testing and investigations

The first purpose of the International Standard for Testing and Investigations (ISTI) is to plan for intelligent and effective testing, both In-Competition and Out- of-Competition, and to maintain the integrity and identity of the samples collected from the point the athlete is notified of the test to the point the samples are delivered to the laboratory for analysis. To that end, the ISTI (including its Annexes) establishes mandatory standards for test distribution planning (including collection and use of athlete whereabouts information), notification of athletes, preparing for and conducting sample collection, security/post-test administration of samples and documentation, and transport of samples to WADA-Accredited Laboratories for analysis.

The second purpose of the ISTI is to establish mandatory standards for the efficient and effective gathering, assessment and use of anti-doping intelligence and for the efficient and effective conduct of investigations into possible anti-doping rule violations.

Like the Code, the ISTI has been drafted giving due consideration to the principles of respect for human rights, proportionality, and other applicable legal principles.

The current version of the ISTI went into force on 1 January 2021.


The International Standard for Laboratories (ISL) sets out the requirements to be followed by WADA-Accredited and WADA-Approved Laboratories for the Athlete Biological Passport (ABP) that wish to demonstrate that they are technically competent, operate within an effective Management System, and are able to produce forensically valid results. The ISL includes, inter alia, requirements for obtaining and maintaining WADA laboratory accreditation and WADA laboratory approval for the ABP, operating standards for the performance of Laboratories and WADA-Approved Laboratories for the ABP and a description of the accreditation and approval processes.

To complement the ISL, WADA also publishes specific technical requirements in a Technical Document or Technical Letter. WADA may also provide laboratories, WADA-Approved Laboratories for the ABP and other stakeholders with specific technical guidance and advice in the form of Laboratory Guidelines or Technical Notes.

The current version of the ISL went into force on 1 January 2021.

Therapeutic Use Exemptions

The purpose of the International Standard for Therapeutic Use Exemptions (ISTUE) is to establish:

  1. the conditions that must be satisfied in order for a Therapeutic Use Exemption (or TUE) to be granted, permitting the presence of a prohibited substance in an athlete’s sample or the athlete’s use or attempted use, possession and/or administration or attempted administration of a prohibited substance or prohibited method for therapeutic reasons;
  2. the responsibilities imposed on Anti-Doping Organizations in making and communicating TUE decisions;
  3. the process for an athlete to apply for a TUE;
  4. the process for an athlete to get a TUE granted by one Anti-Doping Organization recognized by another Anti-Doping Organization;
  5. the process for WADA to review TUE decisions; and
  6. the strict confidentiality provisions that apply to the TUE process

The current version of the ISTUE went into force on 1 January 2021.

Protection of Privacy and Personal Information

The purpose of the International Standard for the Protection of Privacy and Personal Information (ISPPPI) is to ensure that Anti-Doping Organizations apply appropriate, sufficient and effective privacy protections to the personal information they process when conducting anti-doping programs, in recognition of the fact that personal information gathered in the anti-doping context can impinge upon and implicate the privacy rights of persons involved in and associated with organized sport.

The current version of the ISPPPI went into force on 1 January 2021.

Data Protection

A number of legal opinions have been published in relation to the compatibility of the ISPPPI with various national and European laws.

In addition, WADA has issued a number of statements and clarifications about data protection in the fight against doping in sport.


The Code makes WADA responsible for monitoring and enforcing compliance by Signatories with the Code and the International Standards. The Code also requires Signatories to report on their compliance to WADA. The purpose of the International Standard for Code Compliance by Signatories (ISCCS) is to ensure that strong, Code-compliant anti-doping rules and programs are applied and enforced consistently and effectively across all sports and all countries, so that clean athletes can have confidence that there is fair competition on a level playing field, and public confidence in the integrity of sport can be maintained. The ISCCS outlines:

  • Code Signatories’ rights and responsibilities;
  • the ways WADA supports Signatories in achieving, maintaining and, where applicable, regaining Code compliance; and
  • a range of graded, predictable and proportionate sanctions for cases of non-compliance by Signatories; and, a process for determining non-compliance and consequences.

The current version of the ISCCS went into force on 1 January 2021.


The overall guiding purpose of the International Standard for Education (ISE) is to support the preservation of the spirit of sport as outlined in the Code and to help foster a clean sport environment.

The ISE has three (3) main objectives in support of this purpose.

The first objective is to establish mandatory standards which support Signatories in the planning, implementation, monitoring and evaluation of effective Education Programs as stipulated in Code Article 18. The Code, ISE and Guidelines for Education are aligned in such a manner that the Code outlines the framework for Education, the ISE sets out the principles and minimum standards that Education Programs shall include, while the Guidelines for Education aid Signatories to develop and improve their Education Program.

The second objective of the ISE is to provide:

  • Definitions of terminology in the Education field.
  • Clarity on roles and responsibilities for all Signatories responsible for planning, implementing, monitoring and evaluating Education Programs.

The third objective of the ISE is to help Signatories maximize the use of their resources by:

  • Requiring Signatories to establish an Education Pool that shall at a minimum, include Athletes in the Registered Testing Pool and Athletes returning from a sanction.
  • Encouraging Signatories to cooperate with others and coordinate their Education activities to minimize duplication.
  • Encouraging Signatories to consider the benefits of educating a wider population through Values-Based Education programs to instill the spirit of sport and foster a clean sport environment.
  • Encouraging Signatories to engage and leverage the resources and expertise of others, including governments, researchers and educational institutions.

The current version of the ISE went into force on 1 January 2021.


The purpose of the International Standard for Results Management (ISRM) is to set out the core responsibilities of Anti-Doping Organizations with respect to Results Management.

In addition to describing certain general principles of Results Management, this International Standard also sets out the core obligations applicable to the various phases of Results Management from the initial review and notification of potential anti-doping rule violations, through Provisional Suspensions, the assertion of anti-doping rule violations and proposal of Consequences, the Hearing Process until the issuance, and notification of the decision and appeal.

The current version of the ISRM went into force on 1 January 2021.