The International Testing Agency (ITA) is an international organisation constituted as a not-for-profit foundation, based in Lausanne, Switzerland. Its mission is to manage anti-doping programs, independent from sporting or political powers, for International Federations (IFs), Major Event Organisers (MEOs) and all other anti-doping organisations requesting support.
November 2015: WADA’s Foundation Board unanimously agrees to explore the proposal by the IOC to make anti-doping independent from sports organisations.
May 2016: The WADA working group is tasked with outlining an initial feasibility study that would detail how this authority could be set up and run. In parallel, WADA establishes an ITA Policy Steering Group, consisting of representatives from the world of sports, public authorities and National Anti-Doping Organisations (NADOs), chaired by Dr Valérie Fourneyron.
August 2016: The IOC Session in Rio unanimously supports making anti-doping independent from sports organisations.
May 2017: WADA’s Foundation Board approves the recommendations of the ITA Policy Steering Group concerning the structure and process of establishing the ITA. In particular, the ITA Policy Steering Group recommends the IOC be the founding body of the ITA.
October 2017: WADA’s Executive Committee approves the membership of the ITA Foundation Board.
February 2018: The Doping-Free Sport Unit (DFSU) of the Global Association of International Sport Federations (GAISF) is called upon to form the operational nucleus of the ITA and to operate the anti-doping program at the 2018 Olympic Winter Games in PyeongChang. During the Games, the ITA Foundation Board confirms the appointment of its first Director General.
July 2018: The ITA becomes fully operational. In October 2018, it manages the anti-doping program for the Buenos Aires 2018 Summer Youth Olympic Games.
Yes, the ITA provides independent anti-doping programs to over 60 partners. Independence is one of the organisation’s main principles as the ITA was created to reduce real or potential conflicts of interest in anti-doping.
The ITA’s independence relies on the following main pillars:
The ITA is an independent, autonomous, not-for-profit institution (foundation) that is not organisationally bound to any other body.
The majority of the ITA’s Foundation Board members are independent. The ITA Board is mainly competent to propose amendments to the ITA Statutes, to appoint and remove the ITA Director General as well as the external financial auditors. The ITA Board is required to safeguard the independence of the ITA, in particular its operational independence and transparency. In this regard, the ITA Board delegates to the ITA Director General the responsibility of the actual and operational running and management of the ITA, the conduct of all its activities and the actual administration of its assets.
Anti-doping programs are elaborated in collaboration with our partners only in areas that do not compromise their impartiality, e.g., sport specificities, Registered Testing Pools (RTPs), exchange of general information or concrete suspicions etc. Test distribution and other crucial anti-doping program activities – depending on the level of delegation – remain within the decision-making remit of the ITA.
The ITA is partnering with over 60 International Federations and Major Event Organisers.
You can find more information on who those partners are and what activities the ITA is managing on their behalf in our partner section.
The International Testing Agency (ITA) itself is not a Signatory of the World Anti-Doping Code.
Code Signatories are International Federations (IFs), Major Event Organisers (MEOs), National/Regional Anti-Doping Organisations (NADOs/RADOs) and National Olympic Committees (NOCs).
The ITA implements comprehensive, expert-led anti-doping programs or parts of these programs on behalf of Code Signatories in strict compliance with the World Anti-Doping Code and its connected International Standards.
The ITA offers the full range of activities required to run comprehensive anti-doping programs for our partners. You can find more information on our range of expertise here.
Next to our work for our partners’ individual clean sport programs, we also support global anti-doping efforts through various initiatives:
Collaboration and innovation for scientific and technological advancement in anti-doping (e.g., new testing methods such as Dried Blood Spot (DBS), the development of custom IT tools for anti-doping or new sample transport methods via drone delivery)
Relationships and networks – the ITA strongly believes that the way forward in anti-doping is together. The ITA builds and maintains collaborations with all organisations that wish to jointly contribute to the advancement of clean sport, such as National Anti-Doping Organisations (NADOs), public authorities, national organisations (UNESCO, Council of Europe) and academic institutions.
Education – the ITA not only drafts and implements education plans for its partners, but it also offers free webinars and resources to the entire sports community. Additionally, various ITA experts hold positions as lecturers, trainers or mentors in order to further professionalise the anti-doping system and pass on their knowledge to future clean sport specialists.
The amount of doping controls that the ITA implements each year depends on the volume of its partnerships and the level of the delegation of its partners’ anti-doping programs.
Currently, the ITA collects over 36’000 samples per year.
The ITA is an independent international organisation that manages comprehensive anti-doping programs for International Federations, Major Event Organisers and any other organisations, in line with the WADA Code and Standards. The ITA’s activities include testing, education, results management, intelligence & investigations, science & medical services, among others.
The World Anti-Doping Agency’s (WADA’s) primary role is to develop, harmonise and coordinate anti-doping rules and policies across all sports and countries. Their key activities include ensuring and monitoring the effective implementation of the World Anti-Doping Code and the International Standards, scientific research and accreditation of laboratories, education and social science research, intelligence and investigations, results management and building anti-doping capacity with anti-doping organisations worldwide.
In short, the ITA implements anti-doping programs, including testing, in compliance with WADA’s guidelines and standards. As a governing body, WADA does not implement anti-doping programs for Code Signatories.
More information on the roles of various stakeholders in the anti-doping system can be found in the following video:
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