Legal nature of the World anti-doping agency (WADA)




doping, sports law, WADA, private law organisation, hybrid


Introduction. The task of the World Anti-Doping Agency, which is the most important organisation for combating doping in sports, is to set standards against doping, including legal standards, and to monitor them. At the same time, this is an organisation that has continually stirred up a great deal of controversy in the doctrine of international law regarding its legal nature since its inception.

Problem. There’s an obvious research gap in legal nature and specific features of WADA. This paper would address this gap based on the analysis of the specific construction of WADA, as the latter is internationally recognised as an original and unique piece of international legislation that reflects the intentions of the private and public sectors in sports.

The aim of this paper to provide a well-founded conclusion on legal nature of WADA.

Methods. Doctrinal legal research to evaluate the genesis of academic thinking on the legal nature of WADA, public and private legal entities, empirical research of international legal framework of WADA, methods of analysis to evaluate specific construction of WADA.

Results. World Anti-Doping Agency was established in response to a massive increase in doping cases in the world of sports. It is an independent international private law organisation, whose purpose is primarily to harmonise, monitor and update all legally available methods of combating doping. However, as shown at least by the structure of the Agency itself and its influence on the anti-doping policies of individual States and international organisations and sports federations, which after all represent States, it can be considered as an institution of a hybrid form.

Conclusion. Due to the special structure and role of WADA, its regulations are formally situated in the realm of private law. But at the same time they are legitimised through provisions of the rank of international law acts, which provide a legal framework for them. Thus, the norms of a public-legal nature concerning doping, anti-doping and disciplinary responsibility for doping are de facto secondary to norms of a private-legal nature. WADA itself can be considered a global model for setting standards for other entities operating in sports.

Author Biographies

Renata KOPCZYK, Wrocław University of Technology

PhD (Law), Associate Professor

Yuliia HONCHAROVA, State University of Trade and Economics

PhD (Law), dean of faculty of international trade and law


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How to Cite

KOPCZYK, R., & HONCHAROVA, Y. (2022). Legal nature of the World anti-doping agency (WADA). oreign rade: onomics, inance, aw, 124(5), 4–12.