INTERPOL and World Anti-Doping Agency join forces to fight sports cheats

2 February 2009

LYON, France – INTERPOL, the world’s largest police organization, and the World Anti-Doping Agency (WADA), are to formally combine their resources to fight the use of performance-enhancing drugs in sport.

A Memorandum of Understanding signed by INTERPOL Secretary General, Ronald K. Noble, and WADA Director General, David Howman, at INTERPOL’s General Secretariat in Lyon today will provide a clear framework for co-operation between the international bodies in tackling doping.

The agreement will see both agencies work together to develop best practice and inter-agency co-operation at all levels, particularly in the area of evidence gathering and information sharing on doping and trafficking in doping.

In this respect WADA and INTERPOL will join their efforts to encourage the implementation of relevant legislative tools in all INTERPOL 187 member countries to enable police officers to efficiently fight against the trafficking of doping substances.

“WADA is very grateful to INTERPOL for partnering with us in combating the use of performance-enhancing drugs in sport,” said WADA’s President John Fahey.

“As demonstrated by recent high-profile doping cases and investigations, government action and the sharing of information between law enforcement agencies and anti-doping organizations can be crucial in exposing anti-doping rule violations that would not have been detected through testing. WADA is looking forward to intensifying co-operation with INTERPOL to further protect young sportsmen and women from the harm of doping.”

Underpinning of one the agreement’s key aims, to support national and international anti-doping measures, INTERPOL’s network of National Central Bureaus worldwide will provide liaison with their national authorities competent in the area of anti-doping and trafficking of doping substances. 

“While doping is often viewed as a crime committed by an individual, the reality is that when an athlete takes illegal performance-enhancing drugs, this is just one piece in a larger network of criminality,” said INTERPOL Secretary General Noble.

“Our collaboration with WADA will provide a strong basis to encourage the implementation of the relevant legislation in all INTERPOL member countries, which in turn will enable law enforcement bodies to efficiently fight the trafficking of doping substances.

In 2004, INTERPOL hosted the first International Working Group on doping agents, attended by delegates from 16 countries in addition to WADA, the International Olympic Committee and the Council of Europe. The group recognized as essential the need for stronger legislation to deter criminals from what is viewed as a high-profit low-risk crime.