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WADA publishes Independent Observer team report for the 2023 European Games

WADA publishes Independent Observer team report for the 2023 European Games

The World Anti-Doping Agency (WADA) has published its Independent Observer (IO) team report regarding the anti-doping program of the 2023 European Games, which were held in Kraków, Poland, between 21 June and 2 July 2023. 

WADA’s IO program is an important element of its compliance monitoring of Major Event Organizations, with IO teams providing an independent review of all aspects of the anti-doping programs as delivered at major events around the globe, including the Olympic and Paralympic Games. In addition to publishing this written report after the event, the team was also able to provide real-time feedback during the Games in a positive and collaborative way. 

The anti-doping program of the 2023 European Games was operated by the International Testing Agency (ITA) on behalf of the European Olympic Committees (EOC) with support from the Polish Anti-Doping Agency (POLADA) and the local organizing committee. WADA’s IO team collaborated with the various organizations to help strengthen the program. The team consisted of: 

  • Stefan Trinks (Germany), Head of Testing, National Anti-Doping Agency Germany (Chair); 

  • Olympia Karavasili (Greece), WADA Deputy Director, Stakeholder Engagement and Partnerships (Vice-Chair and Manager); 

  • Ivan Ćosić (Croatia), World ParaVolley Athlete Representative and WADA Athlete Council member; and 

  • Ruta Banyte (Lithuania), Director, Lithuanian Antidoping Agency. 

Mr. Trinks said: “It was a privilege to lead WADA’s Independent Observer team for the 2023 European Games in Poland. The team would like to thank and congratulate the European Olympic Committees, the International Testing Agency and the Polish Anti-Doping Agency, who all contributed to the success of the anti-doping program. We would also like to recognize the selfless efforts of the dedicated staff and volunteers who played an integral role in delivering the anti-doping program.” 

The IO team observed all aspects of the European Games’ anti-doping program, including: 

  • Test distribution planning and implementation; 

  • Recruitment and training of sample collection personnel; 

  • Athlete selection, notification and sample collection procedures; 

  • Transport and chain of custody of samples; 

  • Therapeutic Use Exemption procedures; and 

  • Results management. 

In addition to featuring the strengths of the program, the report also identifies a number of recommendations and best practices to consider for future European Games and other major events. 

THE COURT OF ARBITRATION FOR SPORT (CAS) REGISTERS TWO REQUESTS FOR ARBITRATION FILED BY THE WORLD ANTI-DOPING AGENCY (WADA) IN RELATION TO THE RUSSIAN ANTI-DOPING AGENCY (RUSADA) AND THE SOUTH AFRICAN INSTITUTE FOR DRUG-FREE SPORT (SAIDS)

THE COURT OF ARBITRATION FOR SPORT (CAS) REGISTERS TWO REQUESTS FOR ARBITRATION FILED BY THE WORLD ANTI-DOPING AGENCY (WADA) IN RELATION TO THE RUSSIAN ANTI-DOPING AGENCY (RUSADA) AND THE SOUTH AFRICAN INSTITUTE FOR DRUG-FREE SPORT (SAIDS)

The Court of Arbitration for Sport (CAS) has registered two Requests for Arbitration filed by the World Anti-Doping Agency (WADA) in relation to (non-)compliance matters concerning the Russian Anti-Doping Agency (RUSADA) and the South African Institute for Drug-free Sport (SAIDS).

On 22 September 2023, the WADA Executive Committee endorsed the recommendation of its Compliance Review Committee (CRC) which alleged RUSADA to be non-compliant with the World Anti-Doping Code (the WADC) due to Russia’s federal sports legislation not being considered to be in line with the 2021 WADC. Similarly, on the same day, the WADA Executive Committee also endorsed the recommendation of the CRC to allege SAIDS as non-compliant with the WADC due to South Africa’s legislation not being considered to be in line with the 2021 WADA Code. Since both RUSADA and SAIDS have disputed their non-compliance, as set out in the International Standard for Code Compliance by Signatories (ISCCS), WADA has submitted both matters to the CAS Ordinary Arbitration Division for resolution.

Two separate CAS arbitration procedures have been registered. The procedures will be conducted according to the provisions of the ISCCS and the Code of Sports-related Arbitration (the CAS Code). In summary, for each procedure, there will be an exchange of written submissions while a Panel of three arbitrators is simultaneously constituted in accordance with the provisions of Article 9.4.1 of the ISCCS. Once appointed, the Panel for each matter will issue directions for the next phase of the proceedings and shall, save for extensions of time requested by the parties or other exceptional circumstances, issue its reasoned decision no later than three months after the date of its constitution. The Panels’ decisions will be publicly reported by CAS.

The decisions issued by the CAS Panels will be final and binding with the exception of the parties’ right to file an appeal to the Swiss Federal Tribunal within 30 days on limited grounds.

WADA approves lifting of Analytical Testing Restriction on the Havana Laboratory

WADA approves lifting of Analytical Testing Restriction on the Havana Laboratory

The World Anti-Doping Agency (WADA) announces that, following a recommendation from WADA’s Laboratory Expert Advisory Group (Lab EAG) dated 7 November 2023, the Chair of WADA’s Executive Committee (ExCo), Witold Bańka, has approved lifting the Analytical Testing Restriction (ATR) for the Gas Chromatography / Combustion / Isotope Ratio Mass Spectrometry (GC/C/IRMS) method that was initially imposed on the anti-doping laboratory in Havana, Cuba, on 16 November 2022

The ExCo Chair’s decision to lift the ATR took effect on 9 November 2023. Consequently, as of this date, the laboratory was able to resume all of its anti-doping activities. However, as part of the decision to lift the ATR, the laboratory shall seek a second opinion before reporting an Adverse Analytical Finding (AAF) or Atypical Finding (ATF) based on GC/C/IRMS analyses for a period of 12 months of the date of the decision. 

The ATR was initially imposed for a period of up to six months as a result of the Havana Laboratory’s non-compliances with the International Standard for Laboratories (ISL), the Technical Document for Endogenous Anabolic Androgenic Steroid and the Technical Document for Isotope Ratio Mass Spectrometry. In June 2023, in accordance with the ISL, the ATR was extended for a period of six months due to justified delays in addressing the conditions to lift it. 

In October 2023, WADA’s Lab EAG reviewed the requested documentation provided by the Havana Laboratory. The documentation included evidence that the laboratory’s GC/C/IRMS method and management procedures were fit-for-purpose and compliant with the ISL and relevant Technical Documents. 

Under the ISL, WADA is responsible for accrediting and re-accrediting anti-doping laboratories, thereby ensuring they maintain the highest quality standards.

WADA publishes revised TDSSA that will come into force on 1 January 2024

WADA publishes revised TDSSA that will come into force on 1 January 2024

The World Anti-Doping Agency (WADA) is pleased to publish version 9.0 of the Technical Document for Sport Specific Analysis (TDSSA), which will enter into force on 1 January 2024. The revised TDSSA was approved by WADA’s Executive Committee (ExCo) on 16 November 2023.  

The TDSSA is a mandatory Level 2 document that must be implemented by all Anti-Doping Organizations (ADOs) that are signatories to the World Anti-Doping Code. The TDSSA is intended to ensure that the Prohibited Substances and/or Prohibited Methods within the scope of the TDSSA are subject to an appropriate and consistent minimum level of analysis (MLA) by all ADOs that conduct testing in those sports or disciplines deemed at risk. 

WADA conducts an annual update of the TDSSA to ensure it remains fit for purpose. In 2023, a sub-working group consisting of five members from the Strategic Testing Expert Advisory Group (STEAG) and WADA staff conducted a detailed review of the TDSSA, which included analyzing the current text of the document as well as 2015-2022 ADAMS data. The sub-working group provided its recommendations to the STEAG during its in-person meeting on 30 and 31 August 2023.  

Modifications to TDSSA version 8.0  

A summary of modifications to the TDSSA version 8.0 can be found here and the redlined version of the TDSSA version 9.0 can be found here

The amendments to the TDSSA will enter into force on 1 January 2024 with the exception to changes made to the MLAs for erythropoietin receptor agonists (ERAs) for four sports/disciplines which was increased from 15% to 30%. The changes to these MLAs will come into force on 1 January 2025, allowing ADOs sufficient time to incorporate these changes into their Test Distribution Plans. The four sports/disciplines are: Athletics – Combined Events, Canoe/Kayak – Ocean Racing, Orienteering and Para-Athletics, Running Middle Distance 800m - 1500m All Classes. 

Application for Flexibility 

ADOs are also reminded that in accordance with Article 4.7.2 of the International Standard for Testing and Investigations (ISTI), “an ADO may apply to WADA for flexibility in the implementation of the MLA specified for Prohibited Substances or Prohibited Methods as outlined in the TDSSA.” ADOs can apply for flexibility (up to 50%) in the implementation of the MLAs against set criteria listed in Articles 3 and 6 of the TDSSA.  

TDSSA Testing Guides 

Information on the Prohibited Substances and/or Prohibited Methods within the scope of the TDSSA and relevant guidance on Testing strategies are provided within the TDSSA Testing Guides. A Testing Guide on Gas Chromatography/Combustion/Isotope Ratio Mass Spectrometry (GC/C/IRMS) is also available. ADO staff involved in test planning and target testing of athletes are advised to be familiar with these Testing Guides, which can be requested by contacting WADA at This email address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it..  

Should you have any questions or comments regarding the TDSSA version 9.0 or the application for flexibility, we invite you to contact This email address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it.

WADA refers compliance case against the South African NADO to Court of Arbitration for Sport

WADA refers compliance case against the South African NADO to Court of Arbitration for Sport

Further to the World Anti-Doping Agency’s (WADA's) Executive Committee (ExCo) meeting of 22 September 2023, WADA wishes to provide an update regarding the ExCo’s decision to endorse the recommendation of WADA’s independent Compliance Review Committee (CRC) and allege the National Anti-Doping Organization (NADO) of South Africa as non-compliant with the World Anti-Doping Code (Code). The alleged non-compliance in this case is a result of South Africa’s legislation not being in line with the 2021 Code.   

Under Article 9.3.1 of the International Standard for Code Compliance by Signatories (ISCCS), the NADO had 21 days following the date of receipt of the formal notice of non-compliance to dispute WADA’s allegation of non-compliance, as well as the consequences and/or the reinstatement conditions proposed by the Agency.   

On 10 October, WADA received formal notification from the South African NADO that it disputed the allegation of non-compliance against it, as well as the proposed consequences. Accordingly, and in line with Article 24.1.7 of the Code, WADA now publicly announces that it filed the request for arbitration with the Court of Arbitration for Sport (CAS) on 16 November 2023. As set out in Article 24.1.7, certain Signatories have the right to intervene in the CAS proceedings as a party whereas other persons may apply and be permitted to intervene under certain conditions. As per the same article, the notice of intervention or the application to intervene must be filed within 10 days of the publication of this notice.  

The allegation of non-compliance and the consequences will not take effect until such time as CAS makes its ruling.  Further details regarding the case including, in particular, the consequences and reinstatement conditions can be found in WADA’s update of 28 September 2023

WADA Compliance Review Committee discusses new cases of Signatory non-compliance with the World Anti-Doping Code

WADA Compliance Review Committee discusses new cases of Signatory non-compliance with the World Anti-Doping Code

On 19-20 October, the World Anti-Doping Agency’s (WADA’s) independent Compliance Review Committee (CRC) met in-person, for its third and final regular meeting this year, to discuss a range of important issues related to WADA’s World Anti-Doping Code (Code) Compliance Monitoring Program

The CRC Chair, Henry Gourdji, who was accompanied by CRC members and WADA Management in Montreal, led discussions on the following matters: 

  • New cases of Signatory non-compliance with the Code and International Standards involving legislation, the Code Compliance Questionnaire (CCQ), and audit and non-respect of Signatory consequences cases. The cases will be presented to WADA’s Executive Committee on 16 November if the non-conformities discussed by the CRC are still not resolved; 
  • The latest update on the reinstatement conditions imposed by the Court of Arbitration for Sport (CAS) in its award related to the case between WADA and the Russian Anti-Doping Agency; 
  • An update on: 
    • Current non-compliant Signatories, including the National Anti-Doping Organizations (NADOs) of the Democratic People’s Republic of Korea and Gabon, and the International Federation of Fitness and Bodybuilding; 
    • Signatories currently on the ’watchlist‘, including the NADOs of Algeria, Angola, Bermuda, Ecuador, Mongolia, Morocco and the Philippines; 
    • Signatories whose cases will be referred to the CAS, namely the NADOs of Russia (in relation to additional consequences and conditions of reinstatement) and South Africa
  • An update on the operations of Ukraine’s NADO and testing of Ukraine athletes. The Ukraine NADO has a suspended compliance case due to force majeure in relation to the ongoing Russian Federation invasion of Ukraine; 
  • The latest on the amendments to the International Standard for Code Compliance by Signatories following stakeholder consultation process initiated in June 2023
  • An update on the development and implementation of WADA’s Compliance Monitoring Program, including an update on anti-doping rules and legislation review, the CCQ, and WADA’s Signatory audit program. In addition, the CRC reviewed WADA’s progress on its Compliance Annual Plan and approved WADA’s Signatory Audit Plan for 2024. 

The CRC also held an in-camera session on 18 October to prepare, review and discuss documentation received. 

WADA and the CRC also took the opportunity to express their appreciation to Penny Heyns, who currently fills the athlete member seat of the CRC. Her term concludes at the end of 2023. 

The CRC is responsible for providing independent advice, guidance and recommendations to WADA Management and governing bodies on matters relating to Signatories' compliance with the Code.  

Mr. Gourdji will report to the next Executive Committee meeting on 16 November and the Foundation Board on 17 November. 

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