WADA World Conference Focuses on Next Version of Anti-Doping Code

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The fifth edition of the World Anti-Doping Agency’s (WADA) World Conference opened on Tuesday in Katowice, Poland, with the opening day focusing on the 2021 World Anti-Doping Code. The Code is scheduled to be approved on Thursday and go into effect on January 1, 2021. Ahead of its approval, various members of the clean-sport community, numbered at more than 1500, used Tuesday to review the Code, offer revisions and make recommendations.

The World Conference coincides with the 20th anniversary of WADA, which is charged with overseeing doping regulations and charged with keeping sport clean on the global stage. During Tuesday’s afternoon sessions, WADA stakeholders weighed in on the current state of anti-doping and had the opportunity to look closely at the Code that will guide the anti-doping movement with the start of 2021.

“WADA is maintaining the Code as a living document that adapts to the changing anti-doping landscape to ensure it remains fit for purpose,” said WADA President Craig Reedie. “This third Code review in the Agency’s 20-year history has harnessed the practical experience of WADA and its stakeholders in order to strengthen the global harmonized fight against doping in sport.

“On 10 November, WADA will celebrate its 20th anniversary. It has been two decades of progress, improvement and, of course, plenty of complex challenges. It is remarkable to think of how far WADA and, by extension, the global anti-doping program has come. However, this is no time to be resting on our laurels as there will always be those who try to destabilize the anti-doping system. The key for WADA is to continue listening, learning and implementing ever more effective strategies and processes in collaboration with all our partners.”

During the day, International Olympic Committee President Thomas Bach pledged a contribution of up to $10 million in the fight against doping. Half of this contribution will go toward the long-term storage of athlete samples collected by anti-doping organizations, with the intent that these samples be analyzed as technology develops. Another $2.5 million will go toward scientific research and another $2.5 million will go toward strengthening WADA’s Intelligence and Investigations Department.