Opening its doors in 2000, the U.S. Anti-Doping Agency (USADA) has spent the last two decades taking bold action to protect the rights of athletes. We’ve worked tirelessly to contribute to anti-doping advancement through testing, results management, scientific research, and education initiatives, all for the betterment of healthy and safe competition.
With Game Plan 2024, we present a four-year strategic plan developed as our playbook for 2021 through 2024 that will enable us to continue to serve our goal of fair play, not just for the U.S., but for athletes around the world.
Since Game Plan 2020, USADA has continued to strengthen its leadership across an array of anti-doping capabilities, including deterrence, investigations, and adjudication. Through legal and legislative efforts, we’ve held systems accountable that insist on perpetuating doping conspiracies and using athletes as pawns for financial gain.
USADA has conducted more than 175,000 drug tests since 2000. We’ve also invested in scientific research and technology, including testing innovation designed to provide athletes with new and improved collection protocols and devices.
A global anti-doping system that does not represent the athlete perspective is an unjust system. USADA empowers and amplifies the athlete voice through many channels including our Play Clean Tip Line, which in 2019 received 533 tips to the whistleblower line and resolved 49 violations.
Looking ahead, we will continue to provide education and resources for athletes competing at all levels. USADA and TrueSport engage with elite and youth athletes, coaches, educators, and parents, to help craft a values-based culture where future generations can not only compete and win clean but shape leaders for the next generation.
The USADA culture of fair play is not represented just on the field of play. We remain committed to supporting a diverse and equitable work environment as well as a society and sports landscape that is free of injustice and where all have an equal opportunity to pursue their dreams.
At its best, sport represents our aspirations for a better world and USADA will continue to stand with the athletes we serve in order to bring those hopes to fruition.
Every athlete has a right to fair competition and an opportunity to learn the life lessons and values taught by sport
We hold the public trust to:
- Stand with athletes to champion their right to clean sport
We advocate alongside athletes for their right and opportunity to compete clean – to achieve their own personal victories through commitment, sacrifice, and hard work
- Inspire true and healthy sport
We inspire present and future generations of athletes through initiatives that teach and encourage the core principles of true and healthy sport – equal opportunity, teamwork, fair play, healthy performance, and respect for competitors, officials, and the rules of the game
- Promote the integrity of sport
We preserve the integrity and thus the value of sport by deterring and detecting doping and seeking justice for those harmed by rule violations
We hold ourselves to the same standards of excellence exhibited by athletes who fully embrace true and healthy sport. We commit to the following core values to guide our decisions and actions.
We strive for a culture that values and appreciates diversity, inclusion, and equity in which we hear and respect the beliefs, values, differences, and unique perspectives of those we work with and everyone we serve.
We recognize our mission is bigger than ourselves and is essential to a fair and just society. We seek to serve others including our teammates to further the values and life lessons taught by sport.
Ethics and honesty are the foundation for every decision we make and every action we take.
Our team works genuinely, openly, and collaboratively to achieve our mission in an environment where every team member is heard and is valued. We strive to achieve excellence together knowing the team is better and stronger than any one player.
As we advocate for clean athletes, we “own” our actions and strive to achieve excellence individually and as a team. We recognize that we must also hold one another accountable in order to be better every day.
We will never let outside pressures deter us from our mission. We boldly accept risk and will do what is necessary to protect clean athletes and the integrity of sport even when difficult or unpopular.
Goals and Strategies
USADA develops its goals and strategies with a focused intent to advance its mission and do what is right for clean athletes. Game Plan 2024’s goals and strategies will incorporate the following guiding principles:
Empower athletes and promote their interests in fair and healthy sport
Goal 1 Strategies
A. Empower clean athletes to share their collective voice on a global scale.
B. Advocate on behalf of all athletes.
C. Urge athletes to speak up when they encounter threats to the integrity of sport, and protect those who have the courage to speak up.
D. Promote communications that are inclusive of the athlete perspective, educational, and informative.
E. Celebrate athletes who compete clean.
Build a culture of clean and healthy competition within sport
Goal 2 Strategies
A. Deploy a wide range of tools, including values-based education, to change the behavior and inspire the next generation of clean athletes.
B. Inform stakeholders with engaging and interactive educational opportunities designed to deter doping and maximize awareness of key messages.
C. Encourage reporting of suspected anti-doping rule violations, investigate and bring forward cases to hold accountable athletes, athlete support personnel, and other who have broken the rules.
Be a strong and influential partner in the anti-doping community
Goal 3 Strategies
A. Pursue meaningful ethical change on behalf of all athletes.
B. Collaborate with leading anti-doping and sport organizations to ensure worldwide compliance and accountability.
C. Promote existing and forge new global anti-doping programs and partnerships.
D. Leverage our relationships with government, law enforcement, and other constituencies to advance anti-doping initiatives.
E. Strategically partner with organizations committed to advancing the value and integrity of sport.
F. Advocate for robust anti-doping programs in advance of and at all international competitions held in the U.S., including doing all we can do to ensure that the LA 2028 Olympic and Paralympic Games are the cleanest ever.
Leverage innovative science, research, and athlete-friendly technology while employing strategic detection and deterrence methodologies with our laboratory partners, to preserve a level playing field for clean athletes
Goal 4 Strategies
A. Be an independent, collaborative, and innovative leader in anti-doping detection and deterrence-focused scientific research and technology through the Partnership for Clean Competition and other global partnerships.
B. Enhance testing capabilities, and the excellence of our sample collection personnel and technology, through collaborative alliances.
C. Continue to implement effective strategic testing plans that fully integrate intelligence gathering and investigators, while maximizing perceptual deterrence principles.
D. Conduct effective testing that ensures the integrity of the process and the security, health, and safety of all athletes and sample collection personnel.
E. Invest in and maintain technology systems that maximize organizational efficiency and enhance the athlete experience.
Govern and manage for excellence within a culture where differences are valued and diversity, equity, and inclusion are embraced
Goal 5 Strategies
A. Advance the independent administration of anti-doping efforts to ensure that our mission is free of any conflict of interest.
B. Deliver exceptional customer service to our stakeholders and ensure that all are treated fairly.
C. Implement best-in-class, gold-standard financial, technological, and human resources practices.
D. Continually pursue an inclusive culture and open-minded environment by building cultural awareness and knowledge through learning opportunities and transparent policies.
E. Continue to be proactive in eliminating bias during the hiring, promoting, or evaluating process, and retain and develop a diverse team of exceptional and highly-qualified leaders throughout our organization.
F. Capitalize on our value and select strategic opportunities that best serve our mission.
G. Evolve performance metrics across all programs and services to ensure continued improvement and organizational excellence.
H. Energize and retain a highly empowered, engaged, and effective team and support each team member’s growth and development.
USADA Diversity, Equity & Inclusion
As set forth in our strategic plan, the Game Plan 2024, USADA exists to ensure a level, fair playing field that affords every athlete an equal opportunity to win based on their talent, hard work, and athletic ability. We fight on behalf of ALL athletes every day to protect their right to compete clean.
The importance of Diversity, Equity, and Inclusion is engrained in our Mission and has been a part of our values since we opened our doors in late 2000. This is what we do and who we are! We promote, defend, and stand up for the principles of justice, equality, and fairness for ALL athletes in competing safe, healthy, and clean.
The USADA Vision of a culture of fair, true sport is not represented just on the field of play. We remain committed and strive to fully embrace a diverse, inclusive, and equitable work environment. We recognize that there are no easy fixes, and to sustain a true culture of diversity, inclusion, and equity takes strategic effort, focus, courage, and on-going determination just like our fight to protect clean athletes.
As detailed in the Game Plan 2024, our fundamental CORE VALUES define what we commit to and are the fundamental principles that guide all our actions and decisions.
The best ideas and discoveries arise from individuals from a diversity of thought, backgrounds, and experiences. We strive to cultivate a high-performing, ‘service to others,’ work culture where we include, respect, value, and celebrate the unique contributions of ALL perspectives in the diverse, global world in which we live and operate.
USADA strives to increase the participation in all levels of its organization and mission of individuals without regard to race, ethnicity, culture, religion, sexual orientation, gender expression, age, or mental or physical disability, military status, or any other aspect that makes them unique.
As advocates for ALL athletes, we also commit to supporting and standing up for ALL athletes to ensure their right to an equal opportunity to play their sport in a safe, healthy, and clean way is upheld and to ensure their right to fair sport is not compromised based on race, ethnicity, culture, religion, sexual orientation, gender expression, age, mental or physical disability, military status, or any other aspect that makes them unique.
- We will have courageous conversations and communicate and celebrate the importance of diversity, equity, and inclusion at USADA. Host regular trainings, seminars, and discussions in an open, transparent, and safe way to deepen the understanding and appreciation of diversity, equity, and inclusion for the USADA team and those we serve.
- Lead by ensuring all our interactions, practices, language, and all communications reflect our core values, understanding, respect, and appreciation of the diverse pool of athletes and other stakeholders that we serve.
- We will provide environments and opportunities within our work that embrace all persons and permits them to feel welcome, respected, valued, and empowered. We will stand with our teammates, athletes, and other stakeholders against discrimination or intolerance of any kind.
- Establish fair, equitable systems within our anti-doping environment.
- Ensure as broad and diverse of a qualified talent pool as possible for all USADA hires.
- Ensure impartial and objective recruitment and hiring processes aimed at selecting the best candidate with the potential to grow and ability to contribute successfully to the USADA mission and culture.
- Build a pipeline of talent to attract the best and most diverse talent to all levels of the organization.
- Support the growth and development of all members of the USADA Team to assist them in reaching their full potential in serving our mission.
- At least annually, review and assess USADA team diversity data and compare it to relevant data such as local and national statistics.
- Continually and consistently reevaluate our Diversity, Equity, and Inclusion efforts.
Common USADA Team Understandings of Diversity, Equity, and Inclusion
Diversity refers to all aspects of human difference, and each person is a unique combination of those aspects. A diverse environment is one where a variety of individuals, groups, and/or communities with different characteristics exist and thrive together.
Equity refers to creating and upholding the kinds of fair and just practices and policies that ensure all community members can thrive. While equality implies sameness, equity acknowledges that different people will have different needs in order to have the same access to opportunities.
Inclusion refers to the kind of active, intentional, and ongoing engagement with diversity that cultivates an environment where any individual or group can feel welcomed, respected, supported, and valued.