WADA publishes enhanced policy for compliance by World Anti-Doping Code Signatories

The World Anti-Doping Agency published today the revised ‘Policy for WADA’s Application of the International Standard for Code Compliance by Signatories (ISCCS) (Prioritization Policy) that was approved by WADA’s Executive Committee (ExCo) on 14 September 2021.

The revision, which will come into effect on 1 January 2022, will expand Anti-Doping Organizations’ (ADOs’) accountability in the enforcement of the World Anti-Doping Code (Code) in a graded and proportional manner to include enhanced requirements for National Anti-Doping Organizations, International Federations and Major Event Organizations.

The overall purpose of WADA’s Compliance Monitoring Program is to ensure uniform compliance by Signatories with the requirements of the Code and the International Standards, and therefore deliver a level playing field for athletes worldwide. The Compliance Monitoring Program is governed by the ISCCS, whose first version came into force on 1 April 2018. Through the Prioritization Policy, the ISCCS allows WADA to exercise the authority to prioritize its compliance monitoring and enforcement efforts, by focusing on certain categories of Signatories, chosen based on objective factors identified in the ISCCS.

The first version of the Prioritization Policy was approved by the ExCo in November 2017 and came into force on 1 April 2018 alongside the ISCCS. The policy provides flexibility to some developing ADOs, giving them the space to build capacity so that they will be able to deliver full compliance.

The Prioritization Policy is being expanded now, as approved by the independent Compliance Review Committee, to increase compliance obligations to more Signatories and more anti-doping program areas, reflecting the successful development of WADA’s Compliance Monitoring Program as well as progress that has been made in Signatories’ compliance maturity. Dividing Signatories into tiers, the policy creates a clear framework in terms of when and for what reason WADA will initiate a compliance procedure, under Article 9 of the ISCCS. The grouping of Signatories into tiers has been devised based on objective data, including nation sporting performance data and physiological doping risk information from the Technical Document for Sport Specific Analysis (TDSSA). Details in relation to which ADOs occupy which tiers will be published by WADA in November.

It is important to point out that the Prioritization Policy is not a dispensation for lower tier Signatories. They must continue to implement compliant anti-doping programs, and WADA reserves the right to initiate a compliance procedure, if appropriate, in order to strengthen a Signatory’s anti-doping program and, by extension, the global system.

The Prioritization Policy will be kept under constant review to ensure it remains fit for purpose. Any proposed change to the policy will be subject to ExCo approval, and at least two months’ advance notice of the change will be given to impacted Signatories prior to implementation.

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