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World Anti-Doping Agency
The World Anti-Doping Agency (WADA), French: Agence mondiale antidopage, is an independent foundation created through a collective initiative led by the International Olympic Committee (IOC). It was set up on November 10, 1999 in Lausanne, Switzerland, as a result of what was called the "Declaration of Lausanne", to promote, coordinate and monitor the fight against drugs in sport. Its current President is former Australian finance minister John Fahey, who in 2008 succeeded Dick Pound, a former IOC vice-president and outspoken opponent of drugs in sport. In 2001, WADA voted to move its headquarters to Montreal, Canada, the following year.
Initially funded by the International Olympic Committee, WADA now receives half of its budgetary requirements from them, with the other half coming from various governments throughout the world. Its governing bodies are also composed in equal parts by representatives from the sporting movement (including athletes) and governments of the world. The agency's key activities include scientific research, education, development of anti-doping capacities and monitoring of the World Anti-Doping Code - the document harmonizing regulations regarding anti-doping in all sports and countries. It also produces an annual list of prohibited substances and methods that sportspersons are not allowed to take or use.
World Anti-Doping Code
In 2004, the World Anti-Doping Code was implemented by sports organizations prior to the Olympic Games in Athens, Greece, harmonizing the rules and regulations governing anti-doping across all sports and all countries for the first time. More than 600 sports organizations (international sports federations, national anti-doping organizations, International Olympic Committee, International Paralympic Committee, a number of professional leagues in various countries of the world, etc.) have adopted the Code to date.
Following an extensive consultation period, revisions to the World Anti-Doping Code were unanimously adopted at the Third World Conference on Doping in Sport in November 2007 to incorporate the experience gained from the enforcement of the initial Code. These revisions, which include a number of measures strengthening the global fight against doping in sport, took effect on 1 January 2009.
Given that many governments cannot be legally bound by a non-governmental document such as the World Anti-Doping Code, they are implementing it by individually ratifying the UNESCO International Convention against Doping in Sport, the first global international treaty against doping in sport, which was unanimously adopted by 191 governments at the UNESCO General Conference in October 2005 and came into force in February 2007. More than 130 governments have ratified the Convention to date, setting a UNESCO record in terms of speed.
Council of Europe Anti-Doping Convention
The Anti-Doping Convention of the Council of Europe in Strasbourg was opened for signature on 16 December 1989 as the first multilateral legal standard in this field. It has been signed by 48 states including the Council of Europe non-member states Australia, Belarus, Canada and Tunisia. The Convention is open for signature by other non-European states. It does not claim to create a universal model of anti-doping, but sets a certain number of common standards and regulations requiring Parties to adopt legislative, financial, technical, educational and other measures. In this sense the Convention strives for the same general aims as WADA, without being directly linked to it.
The main objective of the Convention is to promote the national and international harmonisation of the measures to be taken against doping. Furthermore the Convention describes the mission of the Monitoring Group set up in order to monitor its implementation and periodically re-examine the list of prohibited substances and methods which can be found in annex to the main text.
An additional protocol to the Convention entered into force on 1 April 2004 with the aim of ensuring the mutual recognition of anti-doping controls and of reinforcing the implementation of the Convention using a binding control system.
UNESCO International Convention against Doping in Sport
The UNESCO International Convention against Doping in Sport is the first global international treaty against doping in sport. It was unanimously adopted by 191 governments at the UNESCO General Conference in October 2005 and came into force in February 2007.
The UNESCO Convention is a practical and legally binding tool enabling governments to align domestic policy with the World Anti-Doping Code, thus harmonizing the rules governing anti-doping in sport. It formalizes governments' commitment to the fight against doping in sport, including by facilitating doping controls and supporting national testing programs; encouraging the establishment of "best practice" in the labelling, marketing, and distribution of products that might contain prohibited substances; withholding financial support from those who engage in or support doping; taking measures against manufacturing and trafficking; encouraging the establishment of codes of conduct for professions relating to sport and anti-doping; and funding education and research.
More than 130 governments have ratified the Convention to date.
Professor Donald A. Berry has argued that the closed systems used by anti-doping agencies do not allow statistical validation of the tests. This argument was seconded by an accompanying editorial in the journal Nature (August 7, 2008).
The anti-doping community and scientists familiar with anti-doping work rejected these arguments. On October 30, 2008, Nature (Vol 455) published a Letter from WADA to the Editor countering Berry's article.
In spite of a growing awareness of, and catering for the condition paruresis by a number of other drug testing agencies, some of which deal with convicted prisoners and those on probation, the WADA urine sampling rules do not at present cater to sufferers of this condition.
The current anti-doping code revised the "whereabouts" system in place since 2004, requiring athletes to select one hour per day, five days a week to be available for no-notice drugs tests. However on January 1, 2009, this was extended to seven days a week and unlike the previous system athletes have to be available for the full hour.
A significant number of sports organizations, governments, athletes, and other individuals and organizations have expressed support for the new whereabouts requirements. The International Association of Athletics Federations and UK Sport are two of the most vocal supporters of this rule. Tennis all-time great Roger Federer has also expressed approval for rigorous testing saying that "the guy is cheating and they are smart, right?"  Both FIFA and UEFA have rejected the system citing privacy concerns, as has the BCCI.
WADA has also published a Q&A explaining the rationale for the change.
- Don Catlin
- List of doping cases in cycling
- List of doping cases in sport
- List of drugs banned from the Olympics
- Staff (February 4, 1999). "Lausanne Declaration on Doping in Sport". sportunterricht.de,. http://www.sportunterricht.de/lksport/Declaration_e.html.
- Berry DA (August 2008). "The science of doping". Nature 454 (7205): 692–3. doi:10.1038/454692a. PMID 18685682.
- "A level playing field?". Nature 454 (7205): 667. August 2008. doi:10.1038/454667a. PMID 18685647. http://www.nature.com/nature/journal/v454/n7205/full/454667a.html.
- IAAF opinion on "new" whereabouts requirements
- UK Sport Statement on Whereabouts
- WADA Q&A on Whereabouts
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