Doping is the act of consuming artificial and often illegal substances to gain an advantage over others in sporting competitions.

Such substances include anabolic steroids, human growth hormones, stimulants and diuretics.

Organized crime and professional sports

Doping damages the integrity of sport and is linked to other forms of crime and corruption, such as match-fixing, illegal gambling, bribery and money laundering.

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 crime.

Victory in professional sports can be highly lucrative, increasing the motivation for players to take illegal performance enhancers, and for coaches, managers and other officials to put pressure on them to do so. The market is ‘low risk - high profit’ and therefore increasingly attractive to organized crime groups worldwide.

A wider public health issue

Also of concern is the mass trafficking of performance-enhancing drugs which has major consequences for public health.

Doping products are often counterfeited, illegally produced, trafficked and distributed. As they are rarely tested or approved for public use, their consumption is dangerous and poses a serious health risk to both professional and amateur sportspeople.

The increase in the abuse of doping substances in elite sports is mirrored by a rise in the use of such substances in amateur and recreational sports and among young people.

A key partnership

February 2009 saw the signature of a cooperation agreement between the World Anti-Doping Agency (WADA) and INTERPOL.

WADA supports INTERPOL’s anti-doping activities and provides scientific expertise, particularly when it comes to identifying new doping substances. WADA has also published the World Anti-Doping Code which harmonizes anti-doping policies in all sports and all countries and which lists all prohibited doping substances and methods.

The collaboration between the two organizations provides a strong basis to encourage the implementation of the relevant legislation in all INTERPOL member countries, which in turn can enable law enforcement bodies to efficiently fight the trafficking of doping substances.

INTERPOL’s anti-doping activities

Criminal intelligence

INTERPOL’s anti-doping project provides tactical, operational and strategic intelligence related to doping in sport and the trafficking of performance enhancing drugs. It includes a systematic analysis of each doping case known to INTERPOL, especially an analysis of products (types, pictures, brand names, origin, supply chains, modus operandi, trends, and so on).


The project provides a framework for investigations requiring international cooperation, for instance INTERPOL played a role in investigating the case of professional cyclist Lance Armstrong. INTERPOL also contributes to international operations to dismantle criminal organizations related to the trafficking of performance-enhancing drugs.

Training and on-site support

INTERPOL participates in the training courses that WADA delivers to national anti-doping organizations on intelligence and investigations. INTERPOL is also involved in international sport competitions when authorities request any assistance: for instance working with French law enforcement officers in the field during the Tour de France cycling competition.

Orange notices

A key tool in the fight against doping is INTERPOL’s orange notice. This is an international alert, used to notify INTERPOL’s global membership about an event, a person, an object or a process representing a serious and imminent threat to public safety. In April 2015, INTERPOL issued a global alert for 2.4-dinitrophenol (DNP), an illicit and potentially lethal drug used as a dieting and body-building aid (see the media release).

Purple notices

The purple notice is used to seek or provide information on modus operandi, objects, devices and concealment methods used by criminals. In 2015, several purple notices have been issued to alert police to new methods used to disguise performance-enhancing drugs in attempts to pass them undetected through customs controls.

28 septiembre 2017

Drugs worth USD 360 million seized in INTERPOL-led operation

28 agosto 2017

Fortalecimiento de la respuesta mundial frente los delitos contra la propiedad intelectual

06 julio 2017

Vietnam President and INTERPOL Chief discuss regional and global security issues

30 mayo 2017

New drug trafficking routes and smuggling methods identified in INTERPOL-led operation

17 mayo 2017

OSCE Secretariat and INTERPOL launch joint action plan to combat transnational crime

27 marzo 2017

Los Emiratos Árabes Unidos prometen 50 millones de euros para siete destacados proyectos de INTERPOL

24 marzo 2017

“Una desmesurada incautación de drogas pone de manifiesto el peligro de la delincuencia organizada transnacional”, afirma el jefe de INTERPOL

12 marzo 2017

Effective information sharing on violent extremism can save lives – INTERPOL Chief

07 diciembre 2016

Operación fronteriza de INTERPOL contra las redes de delincuencia organizada en toda África Occidental

22 septiembre 2016

Global drug trafficking through Africa focus of operational INTERPOL meeting

19 septiembre 2016

Conferencia para diseñar una respuesta mundial ante los delitos contra la propiedad intelectual

12 julio 2016

1 500 policías participan en una operación contra la delincuencia organizada en África Oriental y Austral

05 julio 2016

La seguridad regional y mundial, tema central de la visita del jefe de INTERPOL a El Salvador

01 julio 2016

Romanian Interior Minister discusses policing issues with INTERPOL Chief

25 marzo 2016

Namibian President discusses global security issues with INTERPOL Secretary General

15 febrero 2016

Captura de drogas, delincuentes, armas y oro en una operación fronteriza de INTERPOL en África Occidental

15 enero 2016

Operation Cocair V tackles threat of drug trafficking into Europe

14 enero 2016

A petición de Francia, INTERPOL publica una notificación roja sobre Papa Massata Diack