chapter  4
15 Pages

Building an international regime to combat doping in sport

WithBarrie Houlihan

The Sydney Olympic Games were a great success not just because of the efficient organization, quality of competition and high standard of the facilities but also because no world records were broken in track and field events – something that had not happened at any Olympics since 1948. The absence of world records, together with the large number of athletes who withdrew before the Games – 27 from the People’s Republic of China team alone – and the near record number of positive drug tests recorded, provide some of the most telling evidence that doping at the Olympic Games is getting more difficult. Many would place the credit for the apparently more effective antidoping policy jointly at the door of the Australian government’s domestic anti-doping body, the Australian Sport Drug Agency (ASDA) and the newly formed World Anti-Doping Agency (WADA). While ASDA was established in 1990, WADA is much more recent, having been established only in November 1999. Yet it was the establishment of WADA that offered the prospect of, at last, securing the formation of an effective international antidoping regime. In discussing international regimes, this chapter follows Krasner’s definition of regimes as ‘sets of explicit principles, norms, rules and decision-making procedures around which actor expectations converge in a given area of international relations’.1 As such, regimes are seen as a sub-set of international (often inter-state) institutions. WADA is an unusual, and possibly unique, international organization in so far as it brings together states and non-governmental sports organizations and is jointly funded and jointly managed by a board that has equal representation from states and sports bodies. The agency is located at the heart of a complex pattern of agreements, written conventions, norms, values and domestic legislation that constitutes the putative regime.