Global WADA Anti-Doping Tests Increase by 6.9% in 2018; Failed Test Rate Drops

WADA has released its final 2018 annual testing data based on anti-doping samples processed in WADA-accredited laboratories analyzed and reported in WADA’s Anti-Doping Administration and Management System (ADAMS). Since 2016, the ADAMS system has been mandatory for all WADA signatories, meaning that this data includes tests conducted by FINA, USADA, most other national Anti-Doping organizations, and all anti-doping efforts under the Olympic umbrella.

The number of tests conducted in WADA labs was up by 6.9% in 2018 as compared to 2017, with a slight decrease in the rate of adverse analytical findings (AAFs).

WADA Testing History Data:

2015 2016 2017 2018
AAFs 3,089 4,822 4,596 4,896
Tests 303,369 300,565 322,050 344,117
% Failed 1.02% 1.60% 1.43% 1.42%

Notable stats:

  • 6.9% increase in the overall number of samples analyzed: 322,050 in 2017 to 344,177 in 2018.
  • slight decrease in the total percentage of Adverse Analytical Findings (AAFs): 1.43% in 2017 (4,596 AAFs from 322,050 samples) to 1.42% in 2018 (4,896 AAFs from 344,177 samples).
  • About 60% of WADA-accredited Laboratories saw an increase in the total number of samples recorded.
  • An increase in the total number and percentage of non-Athlete Biological Passport (ABP) blood samples analyzed: 8.62% in 2017 (27,759 of 322,050) to 9.11% in 2018 (31,351 of 344,177).
  • An increase of 7% in the number of ABP blood samples tested: 29,130 in 2017 to 31,261 in 2018.

The report breaks down tests both by sport, as well as in some cases disciplines – in swimming, for example, the tests are broken down by middle distance (200m-400m), sprint (100m or less), and distance (800m or greater). Of note: synchronized swimming had 0 adverse analytical findings in 2018.

In total, including 71 tests conducted as ‘general swimming’ (not by discipline), swimming had 61 adverse analytical findings in 9,174 urine tests conducted in 2018. That’s a rate of .66%, which is about half of the all-sports average.


Urine In Competition Tests Urine In Competition AAFs Urine Out of Competition Tests Urine Out of Competition AAFs Blood In Competition Tests Blood In Competition AAFs Blood Out of Competition Tests Blood Out of Competition AAFs
Sprints (100m or less) 2026 26 2009 5 133 0 300 0
Middle Distance (200m-400m) 1748 17 2322 8 83 0 362 0
Distance (800m+) 489 4 580 1 33 0 112 0

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3 years ago


About Braden Keith

Braden Keith

Braden Keith is the Editor-in-Chief and a co-founder/co-owner of He first got his feet wet by building The Swimmers' Circle beginning in January 2010, and now comes to SwimSwam to use that experience and help build a new leader in the sport of swimming. Aside from his life on the InterWet, …

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