WADA publishes 2021 Code Compliance Annual Report

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Today, the World Anti-Doping Agency (WADA) publishes its 2021 Code Compliance Annual Report (Report).

One of WADA’s primary roles as the global regulatory body for anti-doping is to monitor effective implementation of the World Anti-Doping Code (Code) and its related International Standards (Standards) by over 350 Anti-Doping Organizations (ADOs); such as, National Anti-Doping Organizations (NADOs), International Federations (IFs) and Major Event Organizations (MEOs).

In particular, the purpose of the Report is to:

  • Clearly outline the achievements and challenges of WADA’s Code Compliance Monitoring Program, measuring objectives against key performance indicators through quantitative and qualitative analysis;
  • Detail the interpretation and implications of the findings, trends and lessons learned over time for Code Signatory Organizations, enhancing their compliance maturity as defined in the Compliance Strategy; and
  • Identify opportunities for continual improvement, forming the foundation for the following year’s Compliance Annual Plan. This cycle is repeated annually as WADA seeks to develop compliance maturity through improvement of its own compliance activities and the global anti-doping system.

WADA’s Associate Director of Compliance, Rules and Standards, Kevin Haynes, said: “WADA’s 2021 Compliance Annual Report provides stakeholders with important insight and transparency into WADA’s Compliance Monitoring Program. The Report covers a unique and resource-intensive period of time for WADA and the World Anti-Doping Code Signatories; most notably, introduction of the 2021 Code and International Standards as well as resumption of compliance procedures previously frozen due to the COVID-19 pandemic. We recognize that Signatories were also required to adjust their anti-doping programs and priorities in light of the 2020 Tokyo Olympic and Paralympic Games that took place in 2021 and to comply with the Court of Arbitration for Sport (CAS) decision on the Russian Anti-Doping Agency (RUSADA).”

“We wish to acknowledge Code Signatories for responding to the requirements and also wish to take this opportunity to express our gratitude to the independent Compliance Review Committee (CRC) for its advice and input on identifying trends and best practice when it comes to reporting on WADA’s compliance activities.”

Some of the key findings of the Report include the following:

  • The unique combination of reopening compliance procedures, the backlog of cases previously frozen due to the pandemic and the requirement for all Signatories to have anti-doping rules in line with the 2021 Code, led to an annual record number of 53 compliance procedures and five cases of non-compliance in 2021.
  • The high volume of compliance cases and the pattern of Signatories submitting updates late in the compliance process created some resource challenges for WADA.
  • No Signatory challenged its assertion of non-compliance to CAS in 2021, suggesting that WADA, the CRC and the Executive Committee implemented the International Standard for Code Compliance by Signatories (ISCCS) correctly. 
  • While Testing was the anti-doping program area that generated the most non-conformities, both Testing and Results Management findings from compliance audits reduced from the previous year, suggesting that the new framework of the International Standard for Results Management (ISRM) and the focus on providing significant resources to Signatories in this area had a positive effect.
  • The areas of Therapeutic Use Exemptions (TUEs) and Education saw an increase in non-conformities. For Education, it can be attributed to an increase of mandatory requirements in this area following the introduction of the new International Standard for Education (ISE) in January 2021. For TUEs, this area will be monitored in 2022.
  • Similar to previous years, NADOs generated more non-conformities than IFs and took longer to implement corrective actions due to the more complex nature of their anti-doping programs.

To read more about key findings and how WADA has addressed them, please read the 2021 Code Compliance Annual Report.