Doping in sports is a public health issue and is characterized by the misuse and abuse of medicines. It is no longer limited to elite athletes as it is increasingly found in amateur and school sports.

IFPMA members are committed to developing safe medicines and to ensuring their appropriate use for the well-being of patients. WADA and IFPMA have formally cooperated with each other since signing the first Joint Declaration on Cooperation in the Fight against Doping in Sport in July 2010.

Abuse of medicines to enhance performance in sports is a serious public health issue. While some approved medicines have abuse potential, their attractiveness for doping is reduced because they are well known and are easily detected.

However, medicines in pre-clinical or clinical development, as well as those withdrawn, may be less known. Compounds in development can be of great interest to dopers, regardless of their side effects. It is important for the anti-doping community and the innovative pharmaceutical industry to address this issue in a coordinated and effective way.

In July 2020, the WADA and IFPMA signed a memorandum of understanding (MOU) that broadens the scope of information shared about marketed products as well as biomedical products that are still in the early stages of research and development, with the aim of developing anti-doping tests earlier. The early sharing of information and expertise is crucial to help establish detection methods and mitigate the risk for future abuse.

In April 2024, IFPMA and the World Anti-Doping Agency (WADA) renewed their joint commitment to collaborate for the good of sport and athletes around the world by signing a letter of intent. Shared objectives include:

  • Regularly exchanging information on substances in clinical development with doping potential,
  • Collaboration on development of new anti-doping tests,
  • Provide information for better granting/reviews of Therapeutic Use Exemptions (TUEs),
  • Tackling falsified medicinal products,
  • Jointly promote clean sport for elite athletes and amateurs.

The letter of intent builds on previous memoranda of understanding agreed by the two organizations in 2010 and 2020.

For the past decade, the pharmaceutical industry has been sharing its expertise to help find solutions to address this public health concern, mitigate the misuse of products, and combat doping in sport effectively.

Report 9 September 2014

2 fields, 1 goal: Protecting the integrity of science and sport

The purpose of this booklet is to provide practical guidance for identifying pipeline compounds with a potential for sports-related abuse and for sharing this information with the World Anti-Doping Agency (WADA).

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The World Anti-Doping Agency

Our collaboration with WADA aims to identify medicinal compounds with doping potential, minimize misuse of medicines still in development, improve the flow of information, and facilitate development of detection methods.