World Anti-Doping Code

Click here to download the World Anti-Doping Code (1.2 MB).

One of the most significant achievements  in the fight against doping in sport to date has been the drafting, acceptance and implementation of a harmonized set of anti-doping rules, the World Anti-Doping Code (Code).

The Code is the core document that provides the framework for harmonized anti-doping policies, rules and regulations within sport organizations and among public authorities. It works in conjunction with five International Standards aimed at bringing harmonization among anti-doping organizations in various areas: testing, laboratories, Therapeutic Use Exemptions (TUEs), the List of Prohibited Substances and Methods, and for the protection of privacy and personal information.

This harmonization works to address the problems that previously arose from disjointed and uncoordinated anti-doping efforts, such as, among others, a scarcity and splintering of resources necessary to conduct research and testing, a lack of knowledge about specific substances and procedures being used and to what degree, and an uneven approach to penalties for athletes found guilty of doping.


Since it entered into force on January 1, 2004, the Code has proven to be a very powerful and effective tool in the harmonization of anti-doping efforts worldwide. This has been demonstrated by the overwhelming support of governments and sports in accepting the Code, in addition to the growing body of jurisprudence from the Court of Arbitration for Sport (CAS) in supporting the Code’s tenets.

The adoption of the Code led to several significant advances in the global fight against doping in sport, including the formalization of certain rules as well as the clarification of stakeholder responsibilities. This brought about harmonization to a system where previously rules had varied and, in some cases, did not exist.

Additionally, the Code introduced the concept of “non-analytical” rule violations, meaning that a sanction can be applied in cases where there is evidence that an anti-doping rule violation  occurred but where there is no positive doping control test.

Revised Code

Building on the experience gained in the application of the Code and with the goal of enhancing anti-doping programs worldwide, WADA initiated a consultation process, in 2006, for the practical review and fine-tuning of the Code’s provisions. Throughout the revision process, WADA encouraged comments and suggestions, from both its stakeholders and all those who want clean and fair sport, that would benefit the global community of athletes.

Following an open and transparent consultation process that included three phases and the publication of several preliminary drafts, the revised Code was unanimously adopted by WADA’s Foundation Board and endorsed by the 1,500 delegates present on November 17, 2007, the final day of the Third World Conference on Doping in Sport, in Madrid, Spain. The revisions to the Code took effect on January 1, 2009. 

The Code review process resulted in an even stronger, more robust tool to ensure that all athletes benefit from the same anti-doping procedures and protections, no matter the sport, the nationality, or the country where tested, so that, in the end, athletes may participate in competition that is safe and fair.

More information on the Code review and consultation can be found under Archives in the menu to the right.

Click here to access the Code Compliance Assessment Survey.