Principles and values of clean sport

Anti-doping programs seek to preserve and safeguard the integrity of sport in terms of respect for rules, other competitors/participants, fair competition, a level playing field, and the value of clean sport to the world.

The spirit of sport is the celebration of the human spirit, body and mind. It is the essence of Olympism and is reflected in the values we find in and through sport, including:

  • Health
  • Ethics, fair play and honesty
  • Athletes’ rights as set forth in the Code
  • Excellence in performance
  • Character and Education
  • Fun and joy
  • Teamwork
  • Dedication and commitment
  • Respect for rules and laws
  • Respect for self and other Participants
  • Courage
  • Community and solidarity

In its efforts to promote Aikido and its practice around the world, the IAF fully adheres to the WADA motto “Play True”, which encapsulates the true spirit of sport.

The IAF embodies these values and strongly believes in a clean and fair play. Doping stands in direct contradiction to what Aikido represents.
The IAF encourages all Aikido community – including and not limited to all participants, teachers, administrators, medical personnel and all other members involved in the practice and/or promotion of Aikido – to take the time to review this section and get informed.

IAF is WADA Anti-doping Code Compliant

WADA, the World Anti-Doping Agency, has informed us that IAF is approved as compliant with the WADA anti-doping code, which stipulates certain activities and procedures as part of the world-wide work against doping in sports.

The IAF anti-doping commitment started with the unanimous decisions of the 2008 IAF General Assembly to approve the Directing Committee proposals for an IAF Anti-doping policy and the IAF Anti-doping Regulations. Since then, the DC has worked closely with WADA representatives and anti-doping experts of SportAccord to establish routines and activities for the anti-doping work within Aikido. A revised version of the IAF Anti-doping policy and IAF Anti-doping Regulations has been in cooperation with the ITA, the International Testing Agency and approved by the DC in 2020.

The work against doping is an important one, in which the whole world-community of sports participates, through their international as well as national federations. The situation for Aikido, lacking any kind of competition, is different from the case in all other disciplines of sports, but the IAF and its member federations are committed to join in the anti-doping work.

Doping is an unethical as well as health hazardous method to improve in sports achievements, not only competition, especially if young athletes are manipulated into its use. Therefore, the sports community, including the martial arts, must be joined to firmly act against its spread.

For the IAF Embukai, the public demonstrations of Aikido , the WADA rules on TUE (Therapeutic Use Exemption) may apply. Please consult the national anti-doping organization of the event in question, for specifics about these rules.

Due to the total absence of competitions in Aikido, Aikido events are exempted for Out-Of-Competition-Testing.

About Anti-Doping – Clean Sport

Doping can be harmful to an athlete’s health, damages the integrity of sport, and is morally and ethically wrong. All athletes participating in IAF events must abide by the IAF Anti-Doping Rules.

What is doping?

Doping is not just a positive test showing the presence of a prohibited substance in an athlete’s urine sample. Doping is defined as the occurrence of one or more of the 11 Anti-Doping Rule Violations (ADRVs) outlined in the World Anti-Doping Code and IAF Anti-Doping Rules. These are:

  1. Presence of a prohibited substance, its metabolites or markers in an athlete’s sample
  2. Use or attempted use of a prohibited substance or method by an athlete
  3. Refusing, evading or failing to submit to sample collection by an athlete
  4. Failure to file whereabouts information and/or missed tests by an athlete
  5. Tampering or attempted tampering with the doping control process by an athlete or other person
  6. Possession of a prohibited substance or method by an athlete or athlete support personnel
  7. Trafficking or attempted trafficking of a prohibited substance or method by an athlete or other person
  8. Administering or attempting to administer a prohibited substance or method to an athlete
  9. Complicity or attempted complicity in an ADRV by an athlete or other person
  10. Prohibited Association by an athlete or other person with a sanctioned athlete support personnel
  11. Acts to discourage or retaliate against reporting to authorities

Why is doping in sport prohibited?

The use of doping substances or doping methods to enhance performance is fundamentally wrong and is detrimental to the overall spirit of sport. Drug misuse can be harmful to an athlete's health and to other athletes competing in the sport. It severely damages the integrity, image, and value of sport, whether or not the motivation to use drugs is to improve performance. To achieve integrity and fairness in sport, a commitment to clean sport is critical.

What does ‘Strict Liability’ mean?

  • The principle of strict liability applies to all athletes who compete in any sport with an anti-doping program. It means that athletes are responsible for any prohibited substance, or its metabolites or markers found to be present in their urine and/or blood sample collected during doping control, regardless of whether the athlete intentionally or unintentionally used a prohibited substance or method. Therefore, it is important to remember that it is each and every athlete’s ultimate responsibility to know what enters their body.
  • The rule which provides that principle, under Code Article 2.1 and Article 2.2, states that it is not necessary that intent, fault, negligence, or knowing use on the athlete’s part be demonstrated by the Anti-Doping Organization to establish an anti-doping rule violation.

Why is doping dangerous?

Doping can result in severe health consequences but also comes with sport, social, financial and legal consequences. For an athlete, doping could spell the end of their sporting career, reputation, and prospects both in and out of sport.

Sport Consequences

The sanctions for an Anti-Doping Rule Violation (ADRV) can include:

  • Provisional Suspension. The athlete or other person is temporarily banned from participating in any competition or activity while waiting for the results management process to be complete or until the final decision is rendered.
  • Ineligibility. The athlete or other person is not allowed to compete or participate in any other activity, such as training, coaching, or even access to funding due to an ADRV. This period of ineligibility can be for up to 4 years or even life depending on the circumstances of the ADRV.
  • Disqualification of results. The athlete’s results during a particular period, competition or event are invalidated, which comes with forfeiture of any medals, points and prizes.
  • Public Disclosure. The Anti-Doping Organization (ADO) informs the general public of the ADRV.
  • Fines.

Health Consequences

The health consequences to an athlete can include:

  • Physical health. Medications and medical interventions have been developed to treat a particular condition or illness. Not an otherwise healthy athlete. Depending on the substance, the dosage and the consumption frequency, doping products may have particularly negative side effects on health.
  • Psychological health. Some doping substances may have an impact on the athlete’s mental health. Anxiety, obsessive compulsive disorders or psychosis are direct consequences from doping.

Social Consequences

Some of social consequences of doping include:

  • Damage to reputation and image, which can be permanent with media attention, and future clean performances can be met with skepticism.
  • Damage to future career prospects.
  • Isolation from peers and sport.
  • Damaged relationships with friends and family.
  • Effects on emotional and psychological well-being.
  • Loss of standing, fame, respect and credibility.

Financial Consequences

The financial consequences of doping can include:

  • Fines that an Anti-Doping Organization (ADO) may have included in their anti-doping rules including costs associated with an Anti-Doping Rule Violation (ADRV).
  • Loss of income/financial support, such as government funding, other forms of financial support and by not participating in the competitions.
  • Loss of financial support due to withdrawal of sponsor.
  • Requirement to reimburse sponsor, if included in the contract.
  • Reimbursement of prize money.
  • Impact of damaged reputation on future career prospects.

Legal Consequences

In addition to the sport, health, social and financial consequences listed above, doping can come with other legal consequences, such as:

  • Some countries have gone beyond the World Anti-Doping Code and made using a prohibited substance a criminal offence (e.g. Austria, Italy, France).
  • In some countries, ADRVs related to trafficking, possession or administering a prohibited
    substance or some substances on the Prohibited List are considered a criminal offence.

What do athletes and athlete support personnel need to know about anti-doping?

Athletes, their support personnel and others who are subject to anti-doping rules all have rights and responsibilities under the World Anti-Doping Code (Code). Part Three of the Code outlines all of the roles and responsibilities of each stakeholder in the anti-doping system.

Athletes’ Rights

“Every athlete has the right to clean sport!”

Ensuring that athletes are aware of their rights and that these rights are respected is vital to the success of clean sport. WADA’s Athlete Committee (now Athlete Council) drafted the Athletes’ Anti-Doping Rights Act (Act). This Act is made up of two parts. Part one sets out rights that are found in the Code and International Standards. Part two sets out recommended athlete rights that are not found in the Code or International Standards but are rights that athletes recommend that Anti-Doping Organizations (ADOs) adopt for best practice.

Athlete rights outlined in the Code include:

  • Equal opportunities in their pursuit of sport, free of participation by other athletes who dope
  • Equitable and fair testing programs
  • A Therapeutic Use Exemption (TUE) application process
  • To be heard, to have a fair hearing within a reasonable time by a fair, impartial and operationally independent hearing panel, with a timely reasoned decision specifically including an explanation of the reasons of the decision
  • Right to appeal the hearing decision
  • Any ADO that has jurisdiction over them will be accountable for its action and an athlete shall have the ability to report any compliance issue
  • Ability to report Anti-Doping Rule Violations (ADRVs) through an anonymous mechanism and not be subjected to threats or intimidation
  • Receiving anti-doping education
  • Fair handling of their personal information by ADOs in accordance with the International Standard for the Protection of Privacy and Personal Information (ISPPPI) and any local applicable law
  • To pursue damages from another athlete whose actions have damaged that athlete by the commission of an ADRV
  • During the sample collection process, right to:
    • See the identification of the Doping Control Officer (DCO)
    • Request additional information about the sample collection process, about the authority under which it will be carried out and on the type of sample collection
    • Hydrate
    • Be accompanied by a representative and, if available, an interpreter
    • Request a delay in reporting to the doping control station for valid reasons (International Standard for Testing and Investigations 5.4.4)
    • Request modifications for athletes with impairments (if applicable)
    • Be informed of their rights and responsibilities
    • Receive a copy of the records of the process
    • Have further protections for "protected persons” because of their age or lack of legal capacity
    • Request and attend the B sample analysis (in the case of an Adverse Analytical Finding)

Athletes’ Responsibilities

Athletes’ rights to clean sport come with corresponding responsibilities, and athletes may be tested in- and out-of-competition, anytime, anywhere and with no advance notice.

Their clean sport responsibilities include (but are not limited to):

  • Complying with the IAF’s Anti-Doping Rules and relevant policies (in line with the World Anti-Doping Code)
  • Being available for sample collection (urine, blood or dried blood spot (DBS)), whether in-competition or out-of-competition
  • Remaining within direct observation of the Doping Control Officer (DCO) or chaperone at all times from notification until the completion of the sample collection process
  • Providing identification upon request during the sample collection process
  • Ensuring that no prohibited substance enters their body and that no prohibited method is used on them
  • Ensuring that any treatment is not prohibited according to the Prohibited List in force and checking this with the prescribing physicians, or directly with the ADO if necessary
  • Applying to the relevant ADO if no alternative permitted treatment is possible and a Therapeutic Use Exemption (TUE) is required (see the IAF’s TUE application process)
  • Reporting immediately for sample collection after being notified of being selected for doping control
  • Ensuring the accuracy of the information entered on the Doping Control Form (DCF)
  • Cooperating with ADOs investigating ADRVs
  • Not working with coaches, trainers, physicians or other athlete support personnel who are ineligible on account of an ADRV or who have been criminally convicted or professionally disciplined in relation to doping (see WADA’s Prohibited Association List)

Athlete Support Personnel Rights

Athlete support personnel and other persons also have rights and responsibilities under the Code. These include:

  • Right to a fair hearing, before an independent hearing panel
  • Right to appeal the hearing decision
  • Rights regarding data protection, according to the ISPPPI and any local applicable law

Athlete Support Personnel Responsibilities

Athlete support personnel’s responsibilities under the Code include:

  • Using their influence on athlete values and behaviors to foster clean sport behaviors
  • Knowing and complying with all applicable anti-doping policies and rules, including the IAF’s Anti-Doping Rules and relevant policies (in line with the Code)
  • Cooperating with the athlete doping control program
  • Cooperating with ADOs investigating Anti-Doping Rule Violations (ADRVs)
  • Informing the relevant IF and/or NADO if they have committed an ADRV in the last 10 years
  • Refraining from possessing a prohibited substance (or a prohibited method)*, administering any such substance or method to an athlete, trafficking, covering up an anti-doping rule violation (ADRV) or other forms of complicity and associating with a person convicted of doping (prohibited association). These are ADRVs applicable to athlete support personnel under Article 2 of the World Anti-Doping Code and Article 2 of the IAF’s Anti-Doping Rules.

* Unless the athlete support personnel can establish that the possession is consistent with a TUE granted to an athlete or other acceptable justification. Acceptable justification would include, for example, a team doctor carrying prohibited substances for dealing with acute and emergency situations.

IAF Recommendation to Athlete Support Personnel

Here are some ways athlete support personnel can support their athletes in their education on clean sport:

  • Share the Athlete’s Anti-Doping Rights Act with your athletes
  • Register and take a course suitable to you on the WADA’s ADEL platform
  • Follow the IAF on Facebook and its website where the main updates about anti-doping will be published
  • Contact for any questions you may have

What are the organizations involved in protecting clean sport?

World Anti-Doping Agency (WADA)

WADA was established in 1999 as an international independent agency to lead a collaborative worldwide movement for doping-free sport. WADA’s governance and funding are based on equal partnership between the Sport Movement and Governments of the world.

WADA’s primary role is to develop, harmonize and coordinate anti-doping rules and policies across all sports and countries. WADA’s key activities include:

  • Scientific and social science research
  • Education
  • Intelligence & investigations
  • Development of anti-doping capacity and capability
  • Monitoring of compliance with the World Anti-Doping Program.

For more information about WADA, consult:

International Federation (IF)

IFs are responsible for implementing an effective and Code-compliant anti-doping program for their sport (in IAF’s case, Aikido). Under the World Anti-Doping Code (Code), IFs are required to carry out the following anti-doping activities:

  • Providing education programs
  • Analyzing the risk of doping in their sport
  • Conducting in-competition and out-of-competition testing
  • Management of Therapeutic Use Exemptions (TUEs) for international-level athletes
  • Results Management including sanctioning those who commit Anti-Doping Rule Violations (ADRVs)

If you have any anti-doping queries, please contact the IAF Anti-Doping Manager:

National Anti-Doping Organizations (NADOs)

NADOs are organizations designated by each country as possessing the primary authority and responsibility to:

  • Adopt and implement anti-doping rules at a national level
  • Plan and carry out anti-doping education
  • Plan tests and adjudicate anti-doping rule violations at a national level
  • Test athletes from other countries competing within that nation’s borders if required to

Check the list of NADOs to find out who to contact in your country.

Regional Anti-Doping Organizations (RADOs)

In a number of regions of the world, countries have pooled their resources together to create a RADO responsible for conducting anti-doping activities in the region in support of NADOs.

RADOs bring together geographically-clustered groups of countries where there are limited or no anti-doping activities, for which they take over responsibility, including:

  • Providing anti-doping education for athletes, coaches and support personnel
  • Testing athletes
  • Training of local sample collection personnel (doping control officers/chaperones)
  • An administrative framework to operate within.

Check the list of RADOs.

Information, Education, Rules & Policies relating to the IAF anti-doping programs

Here you find the IAF Anti-Doping Policy and Rules, which were adapted by the DC in 2020, effective as of January 1, 2021, as well as links to further policies, information and education.

The rules and policy are based on WADA (World Anti-Doping Agency) rules and policies, including the World Anti-Doping Code.

The documents are in PDF format.

Links to WADA documents

Prohibited List

The Prohibited List (List) identifies substances and methods prohibited in-competition, at all times (i.e. in- and out-of-competition) and in particular sports. Substances and methods are classified by categories (e.g. steroids, stimulants, masking agents). The List is updated at least annually following an extensive consultation process facilitated by WADA.

It is each athlete’s responsibility to ensure that no prohibited substance enters his/her body and that no prohibited method is used.

The List only contains the generic names of the pharmaceutical substances. The List does not contain brand names of the medications, which vary from country to country. Before taking any medication, an athlete should check with the prescribing physician that it does not contain a prohibited substance:

  1. Check that the generic name or International Non-proprietary Name (INN) of any active ingredient is not prohibited (‘in-competition only’ or at ‘all times’).
  1. Check that the medication does not contain any pharmaceutical substances that would fall within a general category that is prohibited. Many sections of the Prohibited List only contain a few examples and state that other substances with a similar chemical structure or similar biological effect(s) are also prohibited.
  1. Be aware that intravenous infusions and/or injections of more than 50mL per 6-hour period are prohibited, regardless of the status of the substances.
  1. Be aware that since 1 January 2022, all injectable routes of administration will now be prohibited for glucocorticoids during the in-competition period.
    Note: Oral administration of glucocorticoids remains prohibited in-competition. Other routes of administration are not prohibited when used within the manufacturer’s licensed doses and therapeutic indications.
  1. Be aware that as of 1 January 2024, the narcotic tramadol will be prohibited in-competition.
  1. If you have any doubt, contact the IAF or your NADO.

An athlete will only be allowed to use a prohibited substance for medical reasons if the athlete has a valid Therapeutic Use Exemption (TUE) for the substance that the IAF/NADO has granted or recognized.

Useful Online Databases

The following National Anti-Doping Organizations make online country-specific drug reference databases available for checking the status of a medication bought in that country.

  • GlobalDRO (for Australia, Canada, UK, USA, Switzerland, Japan and New Zealand)
  • A list of other country-specific databased can be found here.

Note: WADA and the IAF do not take responsibility for the information provided on these websites.

Risks of Supplement Use

Extreme caution is recommended regarding supplement use. A number of positive tests have been attributed to the misuse of supplements, poor labeling or contamination of dietary supplements.

The use of supplements by athletes is a concern because in many countries the manufacturing and labeling of supplements may not follow strict rules, which may lead to a supplement containing an undeclared substance that is prohibited under anti-doping regulations. Pleading that a poorly labeled dietary supplement was taken is not an adequate defense in a doping hearing.

Risks of supplements include:

  • Manufacturing standards, which are often less strict when compared with medications. These lower standards often lead to supplement contamination with an undeclared prohibited substance, for example when manufacturing equipment isn't cleaned to the required standards and contains remnants of ingredients from a previous product.
  • Fake or low-quality products which may contain prohibited substances and be harmful to health.
  • Mislabeling of supplements with ingredients wrongly listed and prohibited substances not identified on the product label.
  • False claims that a particular supplement is endorsed by Anti-Doping Organizations (ADOs) or that it is “safe for athletes”. Remember, ADOs do not certify supplements and the product label may contain misleading messaging.

Athletes should do a risk-benefit assessment if they are considering the use of supplements. The first step of such an assessment is to consider whether a “food-first” approach meets the athlete’s needs. Whenever possible, such assessment should be done with a support of a certified nutritionist or other qualified professional who is familiar with the global and IAF/NADO Anti-Doping Rules.

Checking your supplements

If, after careful consideration, an athlete chooses to use supplements, they must take the necessary steps to minimize the risks associated with supplements. This includes:

  • Thorough research on the type and dose of the supplement, preferably with the advice of a certified nutritionist or other qualified professional who is familiar with Anti-Doping Rules.
  • Only selecting supplements that have been “batch-tested” by an independent company.
  • Remembering what supplement they take, keep some of it in case they get a positive result, and keep any proof of purchase and declare it on the Doping Control Form (DCF).

Remember, no supplement is 100% risk-free but athletes and athlete support personnel can take certain steps to minimize these risks.

Neither WADA nor the IAF is involved in any supplement certification process and therefore do not certify or endorse manufacturers or their products. WADA and the IAF do not control the quality or the claims of the supplements industry.


The aim of testing is to protect clean athletes through the detection and deterrence of doping.

Any athlete under the testing jurisdiction of an IF may be tested at any time, with no advance notice, in- or out-of-competition, and be required to provide a urine, blood sample or blood for a Dried Blood Spot (DBS) analysis.

In the absence of any competition in Aikido, it is logically impossible to do In-Competition and Out- of-Competition Testing as defined in the Anti-Doping Regulations. Therefor there are no reports made for In-Competition Tests and Out-of-Competition Tests, nor any record of WhereAbouts. The IAF focuses on “Event Testing” instead.

Sample Collection Process for Event Testing

  1. Athlete Selection: An athlete can be selected for testing at any time and any place.
  2. Notification: A Doping Control Officer (DCO) or chaperone will notify the athlete of their selection and outline their rights and responsibilities.
  3. Reporting to the Doping Control Station: The athlete should report to the doping control station immediately after being notified. The DCO may allow a delay in reporting for a valid reason.
  4. Sample Collection Equipment: The athlete is given a choice of individually sealed sample collection vessels and kits to choose from.
  5. They must inspect the equipment and verify the sample code numbers.
  6. Collecting the sample:
  • For a urine sample:
    • Providing the sample: The athlete will be asked to provide the sample under the direct observation of a DCO or witnessing chaperone of the same gender.
    • Volume: A minimum 90mL is required for urine samples. If the first sample is not 90mL, the athlete may be asked to wait and provide an additional sample.
    • Splitting the sample: The athlete will split their sample into A and B bottles.
    • Sealing the samples: The athlete will seal the A and B bottles in accordance with the DCO’s instructions.
    • Measuring specific gravity: The DCO will measure the specific gravity of the sample to ensure it is not too dilute to analyze. If it is too dilute, the athlete may be asked to provide additional samples.
  • For a blood sample:
    • The athlete will be asked to remain seated and relaxed for at least 10 minutes before undergoing venipuncture (only for the Athlete Biological Passport (ABP) blood samples).
    • The Blood Collection Officer (BCO) will ask for the athlete’s non-dominant arm, apply a tourniquet to the upper arm, and clean the skin at the puncture site.
    • The BCO will draw blood from the athlete and fill each Vacutainer blood tube with the required volume of blood.
    • The BCO will place the Vacutainer tubes into the A and B kits (only one vial may be necessary if the blood sample is collected as part of an ABP program).
  1. Completing the Doping Control Form (DCF): The athlete will check and confirm that all of the information is correct, including the sample code number and their declaration of medications and/or products they have used. They will also be asked their consent for the use of the sample for research purposes. They will receive a copy of the DCF and should keep it.
  2. Laboratory Process: All samples are sent to WADA accredited laboratories for analysis.

Report Doping

Every time someone steps forward with information on doping, we move closer to a clean and fair playing field for all. As an athlete, athlete support personnel or any person aware of doping practices has a duty to report their suspicions to WADA, their IF or NADO, even if you are not sure about what you witnessed.

Many ADOs, including WADA, have online, confidential tools to report suspicious behavior. Every piece of information is important.

Report doping or any concern about doping here: or WADA’s Speak Up or ITA’s REVEAL.

Important Definitions for the purpose of WADA rules and policies

  • International-Level Athlete (ILA): Athletes who compete in sport at the international level, as defined by each International Federation, consistent with the International Standard for Testing and Investigations.
  • National-Level Athlete (NLA): Athletes who compete in sport at the national level, as defined by each National Anti-Doping Organization, consistent with the International Standard for Testing and Investigations.
  • Event period: The Code states that the definition of event period “The time between the beginning and end of an event, as established by the ruling body of the event.”
  • In-competition period: The Code defines the in-competition period as “The period commencing at 11:59 p.m. on the day before a competition in which the athlete is scheduled to participate through the end of such competition and the sample collection process related to such competition.”
  • Out-of-competition period: The Code defines the out-of-competition period simply as “Any period which is not in-competition”.

In the absence of any competition in Aikido, there are no reports made for In-Competition tests and out-of-Competition tests. The IAF focuses on “Event Testing” as explained above.