Governments have many responsibilities related to anti-doping. They also have powers that sport organizations do not have, which are important to the fight against doping. Governments are also responsible for contributing half of WADA’s budget.
While governments cannot be signatories of the World Anti-Doping Code (Code) since it is a non-governmental document, the Code still outlines expectations of governments related to their role for anti-doping in sport, including:
- Facilitating doping controls and supporting national testing programs
- Encouraging the establishment of "best practice" in the labelling, marketing, and distribution of products that might contain prohibited substances
- Withholding financial support from those who engage in or support doping
- Taking measures against manufacturing and trafficking substances
- Encouraging the establishment of codes of conduct for professions relating to sport and anti-doping
- Funding and implementing anti-doping education and research
The Copenhagen Declaration was prepared by governments in response to the need to have a political document through which they signaled their intention to formally recognize and implement the Code through an international treaty.
Governments subsequently drafted the International Convention against Doping in Sport under the auspices of UNESCO, the United Nations body responsible for education, science, and culture, to allow formal acceptance of WADA and the Code.