26 November 2019
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WADA publishes approved 2021 World Anti-Doping Code and International Standards

The Agency also publishes the approved Athletes’ Anti-Doping Rights Act

The World Anti-Doping Agency (WADA) is pleased to publish the 2021 World Anti-Doping Code (Code) and International Standards (Standards), which were approved by the Agency’s Executive Committee (ExCo) – as relates to the Standards – and Foundation Board (Board) – as relates to the Code – at the conclusion of WADA’s fifth World Conference on Doping in Sport on 7 November 2019. The 2021 Code and Standards are set to come into force on 1 January 2021.

[As regards the International Standard for Laboratories (ISL), the situation is slightly different. The new version approved in May 2019 will now be reviewed in order to reflect and incorporate any relevant changes into the Standard and to ensure consistency with the other documents that were approved during the World Conference. The amended draft will then be circulated for stakeholder consultation from 10 December 2019 to 4 March 2020; following which, it will be tabled at WADA’s May 2020 ExCo meeting for approval. It will subsequently enter into force on 1 January 2021, along with the revised Code and all other Standards.]

The Agency is also pleased to publish the Athletes’ Anti-Doping Rights Act (previously known as the Anti-Doping Charter of Athlete Rights), which was also approved by WADA’s ExCo on 7 November. The Act, which was developed by WADA’s Athlete Committee in consultation with thousands of athletes and stakeholders worldwide, is based on the 2021 Code and Standards and aims to ensure that athlete rights within anti-doping are clearly set out, accessible, and universally applicable.

The approved versions of the Code, Standards and Act will now be translated into French and branded; following which, the final versions will be published on WADA’s website in early 2020.

2021 Code Review Process

In December 2017, WADA initiated a 2021 Code Review Process, which consisted of three distinct consultation phases for the Code; two for the related Standards and one for the Athletes’ Anti-Doping Rights Act. During this time, stakeholders had multiple opportunities to contribute and make recommendations on how to further strengthen the global anti-doping program.

Following the review process, stakeholders were invited to intervene publicly on the proposed Code and Standards during the World Conference – an opportunity which was taken up by over 70 stakeholder organizations – before the Code and the full suite of Standards were approved by the Board and ExCo respectively.

WADA is confident that the Review Process – which was reported upon on multiple occasions to the Agency’s ExCo and Board – was extensive and transparent. The Agency is grateful to all stakeholders for their high-quality feedback and to the drafting teams that have delivered on this momentous effort that will result in greater protection for Clean Sport.

WADA’s 2021 Code Implementation Stakeholder Support Program

On 18 October, WADA published a Development and Implementation Guide for Stakeholders, which summarizes matters of importance related to the Review Process; in particular:

  • the significant changes between the current 2015 Code and the 2021 Code;
  • the significant changes between the current Standards and the recently approved Standards; and
  • a summary of the key topics being addressed in the new Standards.

The Guide also touches upon WADA’s Stakeholder Support Program, which WADA will develop and coordinate with partners in 2020. Our aim is to assist Signatories in their adjustment to, and implementation of, the Code and the Standards that will enter into force on 1 January 2021. 

More information related to the Support Program, including the resources that will be made available for Signatories, will be shared in 2020. In the meantime, should you have any questions regarding the above-mentioned documents, please feel free to contact: code@wada-ama.org.