A guide to the main changes under the 2021 World Anti-Doping Code
During the first week of November 2019, the World Anti-Doping Agency (WADA) convened the Fifth World Conference on Doping in Sport in Poland, where relevant stakeholders and representatives met to discuss developments on a new global anti-doping regime. The Conference formed the penultimate phase of a WADA Code 2021 Review, which also included a revision of the Code’s International Standards.
Since its initiation in December 2017, the review process has comprised of numerous consultation phases, draft circulations, public interventions, stakeholder recommendations, and an expert legal opinion from the former President of the European Court of Human Rights. Finally, on 26 November 2019, WADA published a revised World Anti-Doping Code 2021, (WADC 2021) along with revised International Standards (including two new Standards on Education and Results Management) that supplement the Code.
The changes are due to come into force on 1 January 2021, and so will apply to the postponed Tokyo Olympics & Paralympics. This article examines the main changes to WADC 2021, looking specifically at:
- The ten major changes, relating to:
- The multiple violations rule
- Forfeited prize money
- Less stringent sanctions for ‘Protected Persons’ and ‘Recreational Athletes’
- Reintroduction of ‘Aggravating Circumstances’
- Basic rights for athletes
- New protection for individuals reporting violations
- Delegation of doping controls
- Implementation of decisions
- Prompt and timely admissions
- Addressing problems of substances of abuse, out of competition substances, contaminants and endogenous substances
- The two new International Standards on ‘Education’ and ‘Results Management’;
- Revisions to the International Standard for Testing and Investigations (effective from 1 March 2020)
- WADC 2021 Code Implementation Support Program
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- Tags: Anti-Doping | Human Rights | Integrity | International Standards | Olympics | Paralympics | Tokyo 2021 | WADA Code 2021 | World Anti-Doping Agency
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Wilfred is an associate at GameChanger Law Advisors, India, and assists in all corporate, commercial and sports advisory matters of the firm. His areas of interest predominantly include sports law and commercial law.
Wilfred recently graduated from Gujarat National Law University in 2021 and headed the GNLU Centre for Sports & Entertainment law as its Student Convenor. He has previously interned with both domestic and foreign sports law firms, and was also mentored through the LawInSport Mentoring Scheme of 2019/20.
Which of the changes have the greatest impact in the fight against doping in Sport?