Achieving compliance with the World Anti-Doping Code: learning from the implementation of another international agreement

Stacie Gray

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

12 Citations (Scopus)
141 Downloads (Pure)


The scale of the compliance problem that the World Anti-Doping Agency (WADA) faces was recently highlighted by the exposure of institutiona- lised doping in Russia and the series of doping scandals within athletics. The article aims to analyse the problems of achieving compliance with the World Anti-Doping Code. Specifically, the article explores the tech- niques for, and problems of, achieving compliance with the Code and a similar international agreement. The chosen agreement is the UN Convention Against Transnational Organised Crime, with a specific focus upon anti-money laundering. The anti-doping and anti-money laundering regimes were analysed to identify the range of strategies used to achieve (or at least enhance) the level of compliance with the respective international convention. The anti-money laundering strate- gies were also evaluated to assess their effectiveness as a way of gen- erating ideas for improving compliance with the WADA Code. To analyse compliance, three inter-related bodies of theory were used: regime theory, implementation theory and compliance system theory. Qualitative document analysis was used to analyse documents published by relevant organisations. Additionally, semi-structured interviews were conducted with senior staff members responsible for monitoring com- pliance at the international and UK domestic level. The results identified a range of strategies used to achieve compliance, including sanctions, random monitoring mechanisms and whistleblowing. It is concluded that the identified strategies have had modest and variable success in improving compliance, yet have the potential to address the problems of achieving compliance with the 2015 WADA Code.
Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)247-260
Number of pages14
JournalInternational Journal of Sport Policy and Politics
Issue number2
Early online date23 Dec 2018
Publication statusPublished - 3 Apr 2019

Bibliographical note

This is an Accepted Manuscript of an article published by Taylor & Francis in International Journal of Sport Policy and Politics on 23/12/18, available online:

Copyright © and Moral Rights are retained by the author(s) and/ or other copyright owners. A copy can be downloaded for personal non-commercial research or study, without prior permission or charge. This item cannot be reproduced or quoted extensively from without first obtaining permission in writing from the copyright holder(s). The content must not be changed in any way or sold commercially in any format or medium without the formal permission of the copyright holders.


  • 2015 World Anti-Doping Code, WADA
  • Doping
  • anti-doping policy
  • compliance

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Social Sciences (miscellaneous)
  • Tourism, Leisure and Hospitality Management


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