WADA Foundation Board takes important decisions that will significantly strengthen the Agency and the future of clean sport


Today, the World Anti-Doping Agency’s (WADA’s) Foundation Board was held in Seoul, Republic of Korea. The 38-Member Board – which is composed equally of the Sports Movement and Governments of the World – was graciously hosted by South Korea’s Ministry of Culture, Sports and Tourism with the support of the Korean Anti-Doping Agency; as was, WADA’s 12-Member Executive Committee meeting that was held the previous day.

The full day, public meeting, included:

  • Maintaining the non-compliance status of the Russian Anti-Doping Agency (RUSADA);
  • Adoption of the International Standard for Code Compliance by Signatories (ISCCS) and approval of the World Anti-Doping Code (Code) amendments that the ISCCS necessitates;
  • Declarations of non-compliance with the Code of three National Anti-Doping Organizations (NADOs);
  • Approval regarding a third revision of the Code to commence in December 2017;
  • Approval of an 8% budget increase for 2018;
  • Acceptance of an enhanced financial offer from Montreal International to host WADA’s headquarters for a further ten years (2021-2031), upon expiry of the current contract; and
  • Approval of recommendations from the Laboratory Accreditation Working Group.

“While the Board considered a broad range of topics aimed at strengthening WADA and the future of clean sport, the crucial decisions of the day were certainly focused on WADA’s enhanced Code compliance monitoring program and an increased 2018 budget of 8%,” said Sir Craig Reedie, WADA President. “The Board decisions today are a clear recognition of WADA’s increased mandate; and, quite frankly, a vote of confidence in the Agency’s ability to carry it out as part of its increasingly important mission to protect clean sport.”

Board upholds the non-compliance status of RUSADA with the Code

The Board endorsed WADA’s independent Compliance Review Committee’s (CRC’s) recommendation that RUSADA remain non-compliant with the Code until such time as Russia fulfills the two outstanding criteria of RUSADA’s Roadmap to Compliance.

In the interest of full transparency, the Board first considered appeals for reinstatement from Russia’s Minister of Sport, Pavel Kolobkov, and the President of the Russian Olympic Committee, Alexander Zhukov. Thereafter, the Chair of the CRC, Jonathan Taylor, apprised the Board of what was considered by the CRC as it relates to reinstatement; in particular, the following two criteria that Russia had yet to complete on the Roadmap:

  1. That the responsible authorities for anti-doping in Russia must publically accept the reported outcomes of the McLaren Investigation.
  2. That the Russian Government must provide access for appropriate entities to the stored samples and electronic data in the Moscow Laboratory, which are sealed off due to a Federal investigation.

“The Board was encouraged by the significant progress achieved by RUSADA under its new Management with the support of WADA,” said Sir Craig Reedie. “However, there was clear consensus by the Board that the two outstanding Roadmap criteria were critical to global confidence and to operating in a credible environment” he continued. “The Agency will continue its efforts and work with Russia, in the hope that compliance can be achieved so that the country can benefit from a fully robust and independent anti-doping system, which operates within a healthy and supportive environment.”

WADA’s Board declared RUSADA non-compliant in November 2015, following revelations of widespread doping in Russian athletics that was exposed via WADA’s independent Pound Commission. Since then, WADA and its partners have been working very hard to rebuild a credible, and sustainable, anti-doping program in Russia that will ensure the protection of clean athletes inside and outside of the country.

Board approves International Standard for Code Compliance by Signatories

The Chair of the CRC then outlined activities being conducted by WADA in the area of Code compliance monitoring. This includes, in particular, ongoing support to Anti-Doping Organizations to achieve, maintain or regain Code compliance; the conduct of compliance audits regarding identified Code Signatories; as well as, development of an International Standard for Code Compliance by Signatories (ISCCS).

The ISCCS was adopted by the Executive Committee; while, the Code amendments that the ISCCS necessitates were approved by the Board. The ISCCS and the Code amendments, which will be published shortly and take effect on 1 April 2018, formalize the ways in which WADA supports Code Signatories in achieving, maintaining and regaining Code compliance.  The ISCCS also specifies a range of graded, predictable and proportionate sanctions for cases of non-compliance; and, a process for determining non-compliance and consequences.

”Athletes have been very clear with us that, just as they are expected to uphold high standards of compliance with anti-doping rules, so too must Signatories be held to similar high standards within the Code,” said Olivier Niggli, WADA Director General. “The International Standard for Code Compliance by Signatories is a direct response to this athlete appeal,” Niggli continued.  “Through an extensive stakeholder consultation process, we developed a robust Standard in a record time of six months,” he said. “We believe that this Standard will be a game changer and its unanimous approval reflects the level of importance that WADA stakeholders have given it and their commitment to the fight against doping.”

Board declares three Signatories non-compliant with the Code

Upon recommendation by the CRC, the Board declared the following three signatories non-compliant with the Code with immediate effect:

  1. The National Anti-Doping Committee of Equatorial Guinea, due to their failure to complete the Code Compliance Questionnaire
  2. The Kuwait Anti-Doping Committee, due to issues related to the structure and the content of their anti-doping program.
  3. The Anti-Doping Unit – Mauritius Ministry of Youth and Sports, due to non-compliant anti-doping arrangements to enforce the Code.

WADA will now communicate this decision to its stakeholders, including the International Olympic Committee (IOC), other Major Event Organizations and UNESCO for their consideration and action.

Board approves 8% budget increase for 2018

“WADA is grateful for the 8% increase for 2018, which will go a long way towards increasing WADA’s scale, speed and reach in carrying out its core activities,” said Olivier Niggli. “WADA Management will now continue its work with stakeholders to ensure ongoing enhancement of WADA’s activities, which is required of the Agency by its governing bodies and athletes of the world.”

Board approves extension of WADA’s headquarters in Montreal

The Board welcomed a Canadian delegation -- comprised of Mr. Hubert Bolduc, President and Chief Executive Officer of Montreal International; Mr. Marc Garneau, Minister of Transport, Government of Canada; and Christine St-Pierre, Minister of International Relations, Government of Quebec -- that outlined an offer to extend their Montreal hosting agreement for another ten years ending in 2031. The proposal was unanimously endorsed by the Board. WADA’s global headquarters have been hosted by Montreal International, on behalf of the Governments of Canada and Quebec, since 2001.     

In thanking the Canadian delegation, Sir Craig Reedie said, “WADA is very grateful to the Canadian authorities for their generous offer and their willingness to continue to provide the Agency with optimal conditions in order to carry out its mission. The extension of WADA’s hosting agreement with Montreal will provide ongoing stability; and, allow the Agency to focus on its commitment to clean sport.”

Board approves Code review process

In order to ensure that the Code continues to effectively protect clean athletes and fulfill the needs of the anti-doping community, the Board approved the launch of a Code review process. This review, the scope of which will be more limited than past Code revisions, will be launched through an extensive stakeholder consultation process in December; and, will culminate at WADA’s next World Conference on Doping in Sport that will be held in Katowice, Poland, in November 2019

Other important matters

Importantly, the Board was updated concerning the outcomes of Working Groups established per the Board’s recommendation in November 2016 related to matters such as: compliance monitoring, WADA’s Governance and the Agency’s laboratory accreditation process.