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Do WADA’s International Standards protect athletes’ personal data?
 Article 
Source
Law in Sport
Date
29 March 2016

Do WADA’s International Standards protect athletes’ personal data?

Following the reports earlier this year regarding the acquisition of personal data belonging to athletes by unauthorised persons, including the Sunday Times (as discussed in our article of October 20151), many athletes are genuinely concerned with the protection of their private health information entrusted to the World Anti-Doping Agency, National Anti-Organizations and/or International Federations.

This high profile leak raises important questions over sufficiency of the safeguards in place to protect athletes’ personal information (such as blood samples) since athletes must provide such confidential information to comply with the strictures of the World Anti-Doping Code 2015 (the “Code”).

This article examines the safeguarding policy that is designed to ensure that such information is kept safe: the World Anti-Doping Agency International Standard for the Protection of Privacy and Personal Information,2 and looks at why significant leaks are still occurring.

The International Standard for the Protection of Privacy and Personal Information (the “Standard”)

The Standard is a mandatory framework that applies to all anti-doping organisations globally. An anti-doping organisation is defined as a signatory to the Code:3

"responsible for adopting rules for initiating, implementing or enforcing any part of the Doping Control process”.

The first version of the Standard came into effect in June 2009 in recognition of the fact that anti-doping organisations are required to collect and process personal data belonging to athletes; a responsibility that should not be taken lightly. The Standard has recently been updated, and the latest version came into effect in January 2015.

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