Compliance Monitoring Program

An increasingly important role of WADA is to monitor the compliance of Signatories to the World Anti-Doping Code (Code). Following the introduction of the enhanced 2015 Code, which came into force on 1 January 2015, there is now a greater emphasis on effective, quality anti-doping programs globally and a demand from stakeholders for WADA to assess compliance of Signatories in more detail.

WADA’s focus since the approval of the revised Code in late 2013 has been to oversee the implementation of the rules in line with the Code, however the Agency’s priority is now also to ensure that all Signatories have quality and effective programs in line with the requirements of the Code and International Standards.

As a result, WADA has developed a new ISO9001:2015 certified World Anti-Doping Code Compliance Monitoring Program, which is the most thorough review of anti-doping rules and programs that has ever taken place, and intends to raise the standards of the entire clean sport community.

As an ISO-certified program, the Compliance Monitoring Program aims to reinforce athlete and public confidence in the standard of Anti-Doping Organizations’ (ADOs) work worldwide. The enhanced program, which was launched in early 2017, will eventually include information gathering from the Code Compliance Questionnaire, Audits and other sources of information, including: the Anti-Doping Administration and Management System (ADAMS), the Agency’s Results Management database, investigations; and any intelligence collected or received to monitor Code Signatory compliance.

The enhanced Compliance Monitoring Program underpins the development of the new International Standard for Code Compliance by Signatories (ISCCS) which, once enacted, will equip the anti-doping system with the ability to levy meaningful, predictable and proportionate sanctions in cases of non-compliance by ADOs.

The current consequences for Code non-compliance can be found in the Compliance Q&A.

The Process

WADA’s ISO9001:2015 certified World Anti-Doping Code Compliance Monitoring Program is the most thorough global compliance initiative undertaken since the Agency was established in 1999, and provides Signatories with procedures that are centralized, objective, pre-determined and transparent. The focal point of the process is based on corrective actions and constant dialogue between WADA and Signatories, so that, ultimately, athletes from every sport and every country are subject to robust anti-doping programs.

Throughout the process, WADA will provide Signatories with assistance and guidance in implementing and complying with the Code and International Standards, so that the standards are raised across the entire clean sport community.

Concerning WADA’s review of anti-doping programs, the following activities will form the Compliance Monitoring Program, and ensure that there is an effective and harmonized process in place for all Signatories:

  •      Code Compliance Questionnaire: A central feature of the enhanced Compliance Monitoring Program is the Code Compliance Questionnaire (Questionnaire). The Questionnaire which was sent to all National Anti-Doping Organizations (NADOs) and International Federations (IFs) on 20 February 2017 with a three-month deadline for completion – will facilitate Signatories’ reporting obligations on compliance and allow for more consistent monitoring of anti-doping programs. The Questionnaire will help WADA understand the current state of Signatories’ anti-doping programs, and allow Signatories to make improvements to their programs when and where required. The Signatory’s corrective actions will then be reviewed by WADA’s internal Compliance Task Force before further action is taken.

  •      Audits: WADA will also conduct at least 10 NADO or IF Audits in 2017. The decision to undertake Audits was the result of a recommendation by the independent Compliance Review Committee (CRC) (the independent body tasked with considering compliance, or otherwise, of Code Signatories). The Audits are conducted by trained individuals from WADA and external experts in anti-doping. A key component of the Audit is the corrective action process, through which the Signatory is given a timeline to implement the required improvements to their anti-doping program. As with the Questionnaire, the Signatory’s corrective actions are then reviewed by WADA’s internal Compliance Task Force before further action is taken. More information on Audits can be found here.

  •      Other Sources: Whilst the Questionnaire and Audit program are two of the main tools used by WADA to monitor and assess the quality of the implementation of anti-doping programs and their subsequent compliance with the Code and International Standards, WADA uses, in addition, other sources of information, including: the Anti-Doping Administration and Management System (ADAMS); the Agency’s Results Management database; investigations; and any intelligence received to monitor Code Signatory compliance.

  •      Ongoing WADA Support: WADA will continually provide Signatories with assistance and guidance in implementing and complying with the Code and International Standards, particularly as the Compliance Monitoring Program identifies areas for improvement.

There are a number of different bodies in place to ensure that the Compliance Monitoring Program operates smoothly. The following diagram illustrates the procedure to be followed when compliance issues are identified, and the role of the various bodies involved:

Procedure to be followed when compliance issues are identified

When a non-compliant Signatory begins addressing its outstanding issue(s), a process is followed which aims to result in the reinstatement of the Signatory:

Procedure to be followed when non-compliance issues are solved – “reinstatement”


For more information on the full Compliance process and activities, see the latest Compliance Q&A.