“An evaluation of the World Anti-Doping Agency’s (WADA) impact on the problem of doping in elite sport”

The Business of Sport – Seminar Series

Room G01 – Clore Management Centre, Birkbeck College, Torrington Square, London WC1 7HX

Wednesday 26th November 2008 at 6pm
(For directions click here)

“An evaluation of the World Anti-Doping Agency’s (WADA) impact on the problem of doping in elite sport”

Given by:

Professor Barrie Houlihan, Professor of Sport Policy, Loughborough University


The World Anti-Doping Agency (WADA) is the lead global organisation in the efforts to reduce the use of prohibited drugs and practices in sport. It was established jointly by the International Olympic Committee (IOC) and governments in 1999 following the near collapse of the 1998 Tour de France.

In this presentation Professor Barrie Houlihan will present a brief outline of the problems of assessing impact in relation to elite doping followed by the identification of possible criteria for evaluating the WADA’s impact. The presentation will then move on to consider four key topics:

  • WADA’s impact on domestic government policy and practice.
  • WADA’s impact on policy and practice within the International Olympic Committee (IOC) and the major international federations.
  • How the revisions to the World Anti-Doping Code have affected WADA’s role.
  • The challenges facing WADA and National Anti-Doping Organisations in the next five to ten years.

Among the issues that the review of these topics will raise are:

  • The decision to move ‘up-stream’ and tackle drug trafficking and supply.
  • The sharper focus on the involvement of the athlete’s support staff in doping.
  • The growing reliance on the legislation and national law enforcement agencies for tackling doping.
  • The significance of crisis in maintaining political commitment to anti-doping policy.
  • The actual or potential impact on WADA of the use designer drugs and gene technology.
  • Managing compliance with the World Anti-Doping Code.


  •  – the WADA website.
  • The World Anti-Doping Code available here (PDF)
  • B Houlihan, “Civil rights, doping control and the World Anti-Doping Code”, Sport in Society, 7.3, pp. 420-437.


Barrie Houlihan is Professor of Sport Policy in the Institute of Sport and Leisure Policy at Loughborough University, UK. He has written widely on many aspects of sport policy but has a particular interest in anti-doping policy. He is the author of over fifteen articles and chapters which deal with issues in doping. He is also the author of the book Dying to Win: the Development of Anti-doping Policy, the second edition of which was published by the Council of Europe Press in 2002. Dying to Win has been translated into Italian, Greek, French and Chinese. Barrie has conducted research relating to doping in sport for UNESCO, the European Union and the Council of Europe.

Contact Details:

Professor Barrie Houlihan
Institute of Sport and Leisure Policy
School of Sport and Exercise Sciences
Loughborough University
Loughborough, LE11 3TU
(T) ++(0)1509 226364
Editor in Chief: International Journal of Sport Policy (to be launched in 2009)

For further details on this Seminar Series contact:

Sean Hamil
Department of Management
Birkbeck College
Malet Street

Email: or Tel: 020-7631 6763

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