Anti-Doping

As Australia’s national anti-doping organisation we are responsible for implementing an effective program consistent with international requirements and Australian legislation.   

Role and functions   

Australia is a signatory to the UNESCO International Convention against Doping in Sport and is required to implement anti-doping arrangements in accordance with the principles of the World Anti-Doping Code (the Code). We collaborate with the World Anti-Doping Agency (WADA), overseas anti-doping organisations and other stakeholders to further the Australian Government’s efforts to strengthen anti-doping practices globally. 

Our role and functions are set out in the Sport Integrity Australia Act 2020, the Sport Integrity Australia Regulations 2020 and the National Anti-Doping (NAD) scheme. 

The History of Anti‑Doping 

Some milestones in anti‑doping history:

Ancient Greece – During the Olympic Games in the Third Century B.C. athletes tried enhancing their performance using mushrooms. 

1928 – The IAAF (International Amateur Athletic Federation, now the International Association of Athletics Federations) becomes the first International Federation to ban the use of stimulating substances. 

1960 – An autopsy performed on Danish cyclist Knud Enemark Jensen, who died during the 1960 Olympic Games, reveals traces of amphetamine. This leads to mounting pressure for sports authorities to introduce drug testing. 

1967 – The International Olympic Committee (IOC) institutes its Medical Commission and sets up its first list of prohibited substances.  

1968 – Doping controls are first introduced at the Winter Olympic Games in Grenoble and the Summer Olympic Games in Mexico. 

1974 – A reliable test for anabolic steroids is introduced, with the IOC adding them to the Prohibited List in 1976. 

1986 – The IOC bans blood doping as a method. 

1988 – The disqualification of 100-metre champion Ben Johnson at the Seoul Olympics make it clear that top athletes are under pressure to succeed, and methods of enhancing performance are becoming sophisticated. 

1990 – The Australian Government establishes the Australian Sports Drug Agency (ASDA) to combat the use of prohibited drugs in Australian sport. 

1998 – Prohibited medical substances are found by police in a raid during the Tour de France. The scandal leads to a major reappraisal of the role of public authorities in anti‑doping affairs, highlighting the need for an independent international agency that would set standards for anti‑doping work. 

1999 – The IOC convenes the First World Conference on Doping in Sport, resulting in the Lausanne Declaration on Doping in Sport. The World Anti‑Doping Agency (WADA) is established as an independent agency funded equally by the sport movement and governments of the world. 

2004 – WADA introduces ‘The Code’ to ensure that athletes around the world, in any sport, all adhere to the same basic anti‑doping rules. 

2006 – The Australian Sports Anti‑Doping Authority (ASADA), tasked to protect Australia's sporting integrity through the elimination of doping, replaces ASDA.  

2009 – A revised World Anti‑Doping Code comes into force. It is supported by 5 international standards to ensure a uniform approach to anti‑doping around the world. 

2015 – A revision of the Code comes into effect.  

2020 – The Australian Sports Anti-Doping Authority, the National Integrity of Sport Unit and the nationally focused integrity functions of Sport Australia combine to form a new agency called Sport Integrity Australia.

2021 – A revision of the Code came into effect on 1 January 2021