Sport Ireland's National Anti-Doping Programme acts to protect Ireland's sporting integrity against the threat of doping.
The Anti-Doping Programme has been operational for over 10 years and in that time the requirements of a National Anti-Doping Programme have evolved considerably. On the establishment of the Council the Anti-Doping Programme was developed to fulfil the functions of the Council specifically outlined in section 6(1)(d) "to take what action it considers appropriate, including testing, to combat doping in sport".
In the early years of the programme this function was delivered in line with the Government commitment to the Anti-Doping Convention of the Council of Europe. In more recent time additional requirements have emerged through the Government ratification of the UNESCO Convention against Doping in Sport which in effect commits the Government to full compliance with the World Anti-Doping Code. The Code was launched in 2003 and was revised in 2008.With each revision of the Code further demands have been made on the Council to meet the required standards and this has resulted in significant changes to the National Anti-Doping Programme in 2004 and again in 2009.
Founded in 1999, the World Anti-Doping Agency (WADA) is the international independent organisation to promote, coordinate and monitor the fight against doping in sport in all its forms. WADA is funded equally by the sports movement and governments of the world. WADA works towards a vision of the world that values and fosters a doping-free culture in sport. Its key activities include scientific research, education, development of anti-doping capacities and monitoring of the World Anti-Doping Code (the Code) - the document harmonising regulations regarding anti-doping in all sports and all countries www.wada-ama.org
The visions of Sport Ireland's Anti-Doping Programme are:
- Education - To facilitate the development and delivery of quality education programmes for all major stakeholders.
- Testing - To provide an effective, quality-driven testing programme.
- Research - To establish a long-term research programme which compliments and progresses anti-doping research nationally and internationally.
- International - To keep abreast of international best practice and to collaborate with relevant international initiatives.
- Administration - To develop and maintain quality standards to ensure correct and transparent administrative procedures.
The International Context
Sport Ireland recognises that the fight against doping in sport requires an international and multi-agency approach and therefore works in partnership with international bodies in the fight against doping in sport including the World Anti-Doping Agency (WADA), UNESCO (2006 UNESCO Convention Against Doping in Sport), the Association of National Anti-Doping Organisations (ANADO) and the Council of Europe.
Irish Anti-Doping Rules
The core of any Anti-Doping Programme is the rules under which it operates. The World Anti-Doping Code serves as the basis for all Anti-Doping Programmes worldwide. Under the definitions of the Code Sport Ireland acts as the National Anti-Doping Organisation for Ireland and is therefore responsible for implementing the requirements of the WADA Code and International Standards for sport in Ireland. To this end, the Irish Sports Council produced the 2004 Irish Anti-Doping Rules and later the 2009 Irish Anti-Doping Rules which bring into force the WADA Code.