Anti-Doping Glossary WADA

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WADA Anti-Doping Glossary Updated: May 18, 2007


ADAMS (Anti-Doping Administration and Management System) enables athletes and anti-doping organizations to enter and share data related to doping control and meet certain responsibilities under the World Anti-Doping Code (Code). ADAMS is an online, Web-based system, which allows restricted sharing of data only with those organizations with a right to access such data in accordance with the Code.

Adverse Analytical Finding (AAF)

Report from a WADA-accredited laboratory or other WADA-approved testing entity that identifies in a doping control sample the presence of a prohibited substance or its metabolites or markers (including elevated quantities of endogenous substances) or evidence of the use of a prohibited method. An adverse analytical finding does not necessarily lead to an anti-doping rule violation, since an athlete may have a Therapeutic Use Exemption for this particular substance. An adverse analytical finding may also correspond to a measurement performed on an athlete as part of a longitudinal study.

Anti-Doping Organization (ADO)

Organization that is responsible for adopting and executing rules for initiating, implementing or enforcing any part of the doping control process. This includes, for example, the International Olympic Committee, the International Paralympic Committee, other major event organizations that conduct testing at their events, the World Anti-Doping Agency, International Sports Federations, and National Anti-Doping Organizations.

Anti-Doping Rule Violation (ADRV)

Determination that one of the following rule violations listed in the Code has occurred:

  • - The presence of a prohibited substance or its metabolites or markers in an athlete’s bodily specimen;
  • - Use or attempted use of a prohibited substance or a prohibited method;
  • - Refusing, or failing without compelling justification, to submit to sample collection after notification, as authorized in applicable antidoping rules or otherwise evading sample collection;
  • - Violation of applicable requirements regarding athlete availability for out-of-competition testing, including failure to provide whereabouts information and missed tests which are declared based on reasonable rules;
  • - Tampering, or attempting to tamper, with any part of doping control;
  • - Possession of prohibited substances and methods;
  • - Trafficking in any prohibited substance or prohibited method;
  • - Administration or attempted administration of a prohibited substance or prohibited method to any athlete, or assisting, encouraging, aiding, abetting, covering up or any other type of complicity involving an anti-doping rule violation or any attempted violation.

Athlete Support Personnel

Any coach, trainer, manager, agent, team staff, official, medical or paramedical personnel, parent or any other person working with treating or assisting an athlete participating in or preparing for sports competition.

Athlete Outreach

Program aiming at educating athletes about the dangers and consequences of doping, and their rights and responsibilities in the doping control process. WADA’s Athlete Outreach Program was launched in 2001 and has been carried out at dozens of major multi-sports events. The Athlete Outreach Program recruits a team composed of anti-doping experts from around the world to interact with participants to raise awareness about doping.

Athlete Whereabouts Information

Information provided by or on behalf of an athlete which details the athlete’s location on a daily basis in order to enable unannounced testing.

Chain of Custody

Sequence of individuals or organizations who have the responsibility for a doping control sample, from the provision of the sample until the sample has been received by the laboratory for analysis.


Official who is trained and authorized by the anti-doping organization to carry out specific duties including one or more of the following: notification of the athlete selected for sample collection, accompanying and observing the athlete until arrival at the doping control station, and/or witnessing and verifying the provision of the sample where the training qualifies him/her to do so.

Code Compliance

Means that a sports organization has amended its rules and policies to respect the mandatory articles and principles of the World Anti-Doping Code and is enforcing them.

Code Implementation

Means that a sports organization amends its rules and policies to include the articles and principles of the World Anti-Doping Code.

Copenhagen Declaration

The Copenhagen Declaration on Anti-Doping in Sport (Copenhagen Declaration) is a political document through which governments signal their intention to adopt the World Anti-Doping Code through the UNESCO International Convention against Doping in Sport. The Copenhagen Declaration was finalized by governments at the second World Conference on Doping in Sport in Copenhagen in March 2003.

Court of Arbitration for Sport (CAS)

Institution which is independent of any sports organization and provides for services in order to facilitate the settlement of sport-related disputes through arbitration or mediation by means of procedural rules adapted to the specific needs of the sports world. CAS is often referred to as “sport’s supreme court.” WADA has a right of appeal to CAS for doping cases under the jurisdiction of organizations that have implemented the World Anti-Doping Code.

Doping Control

Process including test distribution planning, sample collection and handling, laboratory analysis, therapeutic use exemptions, results management, hearings and appeals.

Doping Control Officer (DCO)

Official who has been trained and authorized by the anti-doping organization with delegated responsibility for the on-site management of a sample collection session.

Doping Control Station

Location where the sample collection session is conducted.

Independent Observers (IO)

Team of anti-doping experts, gathered by WADA for a major sporting event, who monitor, audit and report on the doping control and results management processes at that particular event.

International Federation (IF)

International non-governmental organization administering one or more sports at global level.

International Standard

Standard adopted by WADA in support of the World Anti-Doping Code. As part of the World Anti-Doping Program, WADA developed four International Standards aimed at bringing harmonization among anti-doping organizations in technical areas: The Prohibited List, the International Standard for Testing, the International Standard for Laboratories, and the International Standards for Therapeutic Use Exemption. Harmonization in the global fight against doping is achieved by the adherence of stakeholders to the World Anti- Doping Program (WADP). There are three levels to the WADP: the Code, the International Standards, and Models of Best Practice. The Code and International Standards are mandatory for those participating in the WADP.

Major Event/Games Organization

Continental associations of National Olympic Committees and other international multi-sport organizations that function as the ruling body for any continental, regional or other international event.


Compound, group of compounds or biological parameters that indicates the use of a prohibited substance or prohibited method.


Any substance produced by a biotransformation process.

Missed Test

Conduct that may be relied upon to establish a failure by the athlete to be available for testing on any given day at the location and time specified in the time-slot identified in his or her athlete whereabouts filing for that day.

Models of Best Practice

Model rules, guidelines and sample forms developed by WADA based on the World Anti-Doping Code and the International Standards to provide state of the art solutions in different areas of anti-doping. These models, which are part of the World Anti-Doping Program, are recommended by WADA to its stakeholders, but their implementation is not mandatory.

National Anti-Doping Organization (NADO)

Entity designated by a country as possessing the primary authority and responsibility to adopt and implement anti-doping rules, as well as direct the collection of samples, the management of test results, and the conduct of hearings, all at the national level. If this designation has not been made by the competent public authority(ies), the entity will be the country's National Olympic Committee or its designee.

Non Analytical Positive

Terminology sometimes used to describe an anti-doping rule violation other than the presence of a prohibited substance or its metabolites or markers in an athlete’s bodily specimen.

Prohibited List

List identifying the substances and methods prohibited in sport. The Prohibited List is one of the four WADA International Standards and is mandatory for signatories to the World Anti-Doping Code.

Regional Anti-Doping Organization (RADO)

Anti-Doping Organization established by a group of countries to coordinate, manage and deliver the mandate of doping-free sport within a specific region. WADA’s anti-doping development program aims at facilitating the creation of such entities in order to ensure implementation of anti-doping programs in all parts of the world.

Registered Testing Pool

Pool of top level athletes established separately by each International Federation (IF) and National Anti-Doping Organization (NADO) who are subject to both in-competition and out-of-competition testing as part of that IF’s or NADO’s test distribution plan.

Results Management

Process for the pre-hearing administration of potential anti-doping rule violations. This process notably includes the initial review of the adverse analytical finding (determination of whether an applicable therapeutic use exemption has been granted, notification of the athlete as regards his or her right to request the B-sample analysis) and the possible imposition of a provisional suspension. WADA is never involved in the individual management of findings, which falls under the responsibility of the antidoping organization involved in the particular case.


Any biological material collected for the purposes of doping control.

Sample Collection Session

All of the sequential activities that directly involve the athlete, from notification until the athlete leaves the doping control station after having provided his/her sample/s.

Strict Liability Principle

The principle of strict liability means that an anti-doping rule violation occurs whenever a prohibited substance (or its metabolites or markers) is found in the bodily specimen of an athlete, whether or not the athlete intentionally or unintentionally used a prohibited substance or was negligent or otherwise at fault.


Parts of the doping control process involving test distribution planning, sample collection, sample handling, and sample transport to the laboratory.

Testing Authority

The International Olympic Committee, the International Paralympic Committee, WADA, an International Federation, a National Sport Organization, a National Olympic Committee, a Major Event/Games Organization, or another authority responsible for sample collection and transport either in-competition or out-of-competition and/or for management of the test result.

Therapeutic Use Exemption (TUE)

Permission granted to an athlete by an Anti-Doping Organization to use, for therapeutic purposes, a substance or method included in the Prohibited List.

UNESCO Convention

The International Convention against Doping in Sport (UNESCO Convention) was developed by governments under the aegis of UNESCO and unanimously adopted by UNESCO General Conference on October 19, 2005. It is currently being ratified by governments individually. It is a legal tool enabling governments to align domestic policy with the World Anti-Doping Code.


The World Anti-Doping Agency (WADA) is the international independent organization created in 1999 to promote, coordinate and monitor the fight against doping in sport in all its forms at the international level. The Agency is composed and funded equally by the Olympic movement and governments of the world. Its key activities include scientific research, education, out-ofcompetition testing, development of anti-doping capacities and monitoring of the World Anti-Doping Code.

WADA-Accredited Laboratory

Anti-doping laboratory accredited by WADA in compliance with the International Standard for Laboratories, applying test methods and processes to provide evidentiary data for the detection and, if applicable, quantification of a threshold substance on he Prohibited List in urine and other biological samples. WADA has been responsible for accrediting and re-accrediting antidoping laboratories since 2004.

WADA Executive Committee

WADA’s ultimate policy-making body responsible for the management and running of the Agency, including the performance of activities and the administration of assets.

WADA Foundation Board

WADA’s supreme decision-making and controlling body. It is composed equally of representatives from the Olympic Movement and governments.

WADA Working Committees

Advisory committees providing guidance for WADA’s programs in specific areas. WADA has four Working Committees: Athletes Committee; Health, Medical & Research Committee (and subcommittees: List, Therapeutic Use Exemption, Laboratory, and Gene Doping Panel); Education Committee; Finance & Administration Committee.

World Anti-Doping Code

The World Anti-Doping Code (Code) is the core document that provides the harmonized framework for anti-doping policies, rules, and regulations within sport organizations and among public authorities.

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