WADA Executive Committee approves 2024 Prohibited List
Today, the World Anti-Doping Agency (WADA) held its second meeting of the year in Shanghai, China, generously hosted by the General Administration of Sport of China and supported by the Shanghai Administration of Sports and the 19th Asian Games Hangzhou Organizing Committee. During the meeting, ExCo members took a number of key decisions – the main ones are summarized below – and were updated on WADA’s progress on its strategic and operational priorities.
After the meeting, WADA President Witold Bańka said: “I would like to thank the members of the Executive Committee for a very productive meeting here in Shanghai. As well as approving the 2024 List of Prohibited Substances and Methods, which is a key document for athletes and the anti-doping community worldwide, members deliberated and took important decisions concerning matters of World Anti-Doping Code compliance, science, governance and more.”
WADA Director General Olivier Niggli said: “In addition, to the ExCo meeting agenda, we were pleased to dedicate a half-day to engaging members in initial discussions concerning development of WADA’s next Strategic Plan (2025-2029). This was a very productive session that took stock on the evolution of the anti-doping system vis-a-vis WADA’s current Strategic Plan (2020-2024), and stimulated discussion around what WADA’s ambitions could be for the future.”
2024 List of Prohibited Substances and Methods
The ExCo approved the 2024 List of Prohibited Substances and Methods (List). Updated annually, the List designates the substances and methods that are prohibited under the World Anti-Doping Code (Code). The List will be published before 1 October 2023 and come into effect on 1 January 2024.
Of particular note, the narcotic tramadol has been added to the List. In September 2022, the ExCo endorsed the List Expert Advisory Group (LiEAG) recommendation to prohibit tramadol in competition. It was decided at that time the addition of tramadol on the List would be effective from 1 January 2024. The delay in implementation was to provide an additional year for broad communication and education of athletes, their entourage and medical personnel so that there was a better understanding of the practical implementation of tramadol prohibition in competition. It also has given time to the scientific community to adjust the exact procedural details so that fairness can be ensured for athletes. In addition, it has given sports authorities time to develop educational tools for athletes, and for medical and support personnel to address the safe use of tramadol for clinical purposes within anti-doping.
Compliance with the World Anti-Doping Code
The ExCo received an update from the Chair of the Agency’s independent Compliance Review Committee (CRC), which included 10 recommendations for the ExCo to consider and decide upon.
The ExCo followed the CRC’s recommendation to assert two National Anti-Doping Organizations (NADOs) as non-compliant with the World Anti-Doping Code (Code). In these cases, the non-compliance is due to a failure to appropriately implement the Code into their legal systems. The NADOs in question are from Bermuda and South Africa.
The proposed consequences and reinstatement conditions for these NADOs can be found here.
Under Article 9.3.1 of the International Standard for Code Compliance by Signatories (ISCCS), these Signatories have 21 days following the date of receipt of the formal notice of non-compliance to dispute WADA’s assertion of non-compliance, as well as the consequences and/or the reinstatement conditions proposed by the Agency.
In addition to this, the ExCo also followed the recommendation from the CRC to assert new consequences (and reinstatement conditions) on Russia’s NADO (the Russian Anti-Doping Agency (RUSADA)), which is already non-compliant with the Code, due to non-conformities relating to national legislation that were identified during a virtual audit in September 2022 and not addressed to date. RUSADA has 21 days following the date of receipt of the formal notice of new consequences (and reinstatement conditions) to dispute WADA’s assertion of the consequences and/or the reinstatement conditions proposed by the Agency.
The proposed consequences and reinstatement conditions for RUSADA can be found here.
The ExCo also followed the recommendation from the CRC to assert the Major Event Organization (MEO), Pan American Sports Organization (Panam Sports) as non-compliant with the Code. In this case, the non-compliance is due to a failure to make critical corrective actions to their anti-doping program by an agreed deadline as part of WADA’s Code Compliance Questionnaire (CCQ) exercise.
The proposed consequences and reinstatement conditions for Panam Sports can be found here.
Under Article 9.3.1 of the ISCCS, Panam Sports has 21 days following the date of receipt of the formal notice of non-compliance to dispute WADA’s assertion of non-compliance, as well as the consequences and/or the reinstatement conditions proposed by the Agency.
The ExCo also followed the recommendation of the CRC to place the NADOs from the following countries on the ‘watchlist’, giving them an additional four months to correct outstanding non-conformity(ies): Algeria, Angola NOC (acting as a NADO), Ecuador, Mongolia, Morrocco, and the Philippines.
A recent review of Angola’s and Morrocco’s legislation revealed that they were not in line with the 2021 version of the Code. Since this was identified, these NADOs and their respective public authorities have finalized draft amendments in line with the 2021 Code and have provided a timeline for adoption of those rules within four months (by 22 January 2024) therefore meeting the criteria of the ‘watchlist’ as stated in Article 8.4.5 of the ISCCS.
Similarly, Algeria, Ecuador, Mongolia and the Philippines have provided evidence that they will resolve their critical non-conformities, as identified from the CCQ exercise, within four months.
By being placed on the ‘watchlist’, if these NADOs fail to correct their outstanding non-conformity(ies) within the timeline, as per Article 8.4.5 of the ISCCS, WADA shall automatically send them a formal notice asserting non-compliance and proposing consequences and reinstatement conditions.
Russian Anti-Doping Agency
The ExCo received an update in relation to the December 2020 decision by the Court of Arbitration for Sport (CAS) regarding the assertion of non-compliance on the Russian Anti-Doping Agency (RUSADA) for a period of two years. Since the end of the two-year period, WADA has been assessing and monitoring RUSADA to see whether it meets all the reinstatement conditions contained in the CAS decision. Until all the reinstatement conditions are met, RUSADA cannot be considered for reinstatement. In addition, RUSADA will not be eligible for reinstatement under the CAS Award until the non-conformity related to its national legislation (as described above) is resolved.
Meanwhile, cases resulting from WADA’s retrieval of data and samples from the Moscow Laboratory in 2019 continue to proceed. It was highlighted to the ExCo that a total of 218 cases had so far been successfully convicted and sanctioned, with a further 63 having been charged and many more cases still being actively pursued.
Risk and Audit Committee
The ExCo approved the members for the newly established Risk and Audit Committee for the inaugural terms, endorsing the recommendations of WADA’s Nominations Committee for the two independent members. The ExCo put forward one of their own members to fill the seat dedicated to the ExCo as outlined in the Committee’s terms of reference. The appointees are:
Ms. Nathalie Bourque (Independent)
Mr. Kashif Farooq (Independent)
Mr. Jiri Kejval (ExCo member)
2023 Scientific Research Grants
The ExCo approved funding recommendations for research proposals for WADA’s 2023 call for scientific research grants. A total of 30 projects from 21 countries across four continents were selected for funding, from a total of 76 proposals received, amounting to USD 3,503,853. Details of these projects will be published on WADA’s website in the coming months once the individual contracts have been signed.
The ExCo approved a recommendation from WADA’s Laboratory Expert Advisory Group to grant Candidate Athlete Biological Passport (ABP) Laboratory Status to the Shanghai Anti-Doping Laboratory (SAL) of the Shanghai University of Sport, China.
The laboratory previously achieved Candidate Status to become fully WADA accredited and, while it works towards full accreditation, it has now been granted Candidate ABP Laboratory Status in order to analyze blood samples collected for the analysis of individual athlete blood markers within the framework of the hematological module of the ABP.
The ExCo approved minor changes to the Technical Document for Laboratory Documentation Package (TD2023LDOC), which will come into effect on 1 October 2023. WADA-accredited laboratories have been notified of the changes.
World Anti-Doping Code and International Standards
The ExCo received a progress report related to the 2027 Code and International Standards update process that is scheduled to be launched next week. During this first phase, all stakeholders will be invited to provide initial feedback on certain aspects of the Code and Standards that have been identified as requiring consideration.
The ExCo will meet next on 16 November 2023 in Montreal, Canada, with the WADA Foundation Board meeting taking place the following day.