The World Anti-Doping Agency (WADA) published its annual compliance report for 2021 earlier this month, showing increased activity compared to 2020.
The report shows that WADA conducted 13 audits in 2021, up from the eight it conducted in 2020. Eight of those were on national anti-doping organizations and five were on international federations. Additionally, all Winter Olympic federations were audited prior to the Beijing 2022 Winter Olympic and Paralympic Games.
The average number of non-conformities in the audits reduced by 11 percent and the average number of critical findings reduced by 44 percent compared to 2020.
Testing generated the most non-conformities, though findings from audits were reduced from 2020.
The report also says that testing levels in 2021 returned to pre-pandemic levels, largely due to the Tokyo Olympic and Paralympic Games.
“The Tokyo Olympic and Paralympic Games originally due to take place in 2020 were delivered in 2021,” the report reads. “This provided a catalyst for the global anti-doping system to ensure that athletes arriving at the Games had been tested sufficiently and safely in accordance with public health guidance.
“As a result, global testing numbers returned to pre-pandemic levels, for which Signatories and other agencies involved in testing should be commended.”
The report also notes that at the end of 2021, there was one national anti-doping organization (NADO), the Democratic Republic of Korea, declared non-compliant by WADA‘s Executive Committee for not implementing its Corrective Action Report (changes they need to make to their protocols to be compliant with WADA).
A second NADO, Russia, was already declared non-compliant with its anti-doping rules and had its corrective actions added as reinstatement conditions.
In February 2021, WADA announced that Indonesia and Thailand had been removed from the non-compliant list and only Korea and Russia remained.
Regarding Russia, the Court of Arbitration for Sport (CAS) declared the Russian Anti-Doping Agency (RUSADA) non-compliant in December 2020, and WADA is currently in the process of monitoring RUSADA through its two-year non-compliance period (ending December 2022).
Monitoring the compliance of both Russia and the federations that held events in Russia (prior to the invasion of Ukraine) “required a significant amount of resources from within WADA,” the report notes.