The practice of using artificial means to enhance performance is as old as competitive sport itself. The ancient Greek athletes may have been the first to attempt this by using special diets and stimulating potions to fortify themselves for athletic performance.

By the 1920s it had become evident that restrictions regarding drug use in sports were needed and in 1963, France was the first country to enact an anti-doping legislation. Other countries followed suit, but international cooperation in anti-doping affairs was long restricted to the Council of Europe.

The ban on doping by some federations was ineffective as long as no tests were performed. In 1966 the International Cycling Union (UCI) and the Fédération Internationale de Football Association (FIFA) were among the first international sports federations to introduce doping tests in their respective World Championships.

Nevertheless, it took the death of a few athletes to draw public attention to the problem of doping and to highlight the need for an independent international agency that would set unified standards for anti-doping work.

The International Olympic Committee took the initiative and convened the World Conference on Doping in Sport in Lausanne in February 1999. Following the proposal of the Conference, the World Anti-Doping Agency (WADA) was established on 10 November 1999.

At the plenary session on October 19, 2005, the General Conference of UNESCO adopted the World Anti-Doping Code as the 1st International Convention against Doping in Sport

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