The World Anti-Doping Code is the core document that provides the framework for harmonized anti-doping policies, rules, and regulations within sport organizations and among public authorities. It works in conjunction with four International Standards aimed at bringing harmonization among anti-doping organizations in various areas: testing, laboratories, therapeutic use exemptions (TUEs) and the List of Prohibited Substances and Methods. This harmonization works to address the problems that previously arose from disjointed and uncoordinated anti-doping efforts, such as, among others, a scarcity and splintering of resources necessary to conduct research and testing, a lack of knowledge about specific substances and procedures being used and to what degree, and an uneven approach to penalties for athletes found guilty of doping.
On March 5th, 2003, at the second World Conference on Doping in Sport, some 1200 delegates representing 80 governments, the International Olympic Committee (IOC), the International Paralympic Committee (IPC), all Olympic sports, national Olympic and Paralympic committees, athletes, national anti-doping organizations, and international agencies unanimously agreed to adopt the Code as the basis for the fight against doping in sport. The Copenhagen Resolution expresses stakeholder acceptance of the World Anti-Doping Code and was issued at the second World Conference. The Code and the International Standards entered into force on January 1st, 2004.
Many governments could not be legally bound by a non-governmental document such as the World Anti-Doping Code. Governments accordingly drafted the International Convention under the auspices of UNESCO, enabling them to align their domestic legislation with the Code and thereby harmonizing the sport and public legislation in the fight against doping in sport. On October 19th, 2005, the General Conference of UNESCO adopted the first International Convention against Doping in Sport.
The official text of "The Code" is published in English and French. In the event of any conflict between versions, the English version should prevail.