Independence & History
The U.S. Anti-Doping Agency (USADA) is recognized by the United States Congress as the official anti-doping organization for all Olympic, Paralympic, Pan American and Parapan American sport in the United States. USADA is also the administrator for the UFC Anti-Doping Program. USADA began operations on October 1, 2000, and as an independent, non-profit organization, is governed by a Board of Directors. Upon USADA’s formation, the original Board consisted of nine members, five of whom came from outside the Olympic family and four of whom (two each) were elected by the United States Olympic & Paralympic Committee (USOPC) Athlete Advisory Council (AAC) and National Governing Body (NGB) Council. Since 2003, USADA’s Board has consisted of 10 independent, experienced, and professional individuals who are free from any conflicts of interest, and who share the ideals and principles associated with USADA’s vision, mission, and core values.
USADA was created as the result of recommendations made by the USOPC’s Select Task Force on Externalization in order to bring credibility and independence to the anti-doping movement in the United States. USADA was given full authority to execute a comprehensive national anti-doping program encompassing testing, results management, education, and research, while also developing programs, policies, and procedures in each of those areas.
USADA was a signatory to the inaugural World Anti-Doping Code (the Code), which harmonizes anti-doping rules across the globe. The Code was first implemented in 2004 and is updated around every five years. Since its inception, USADA has ensured the strategic execution of our vision and mission, with a primary focus on serving athletes with the best anti-doping program possible.
Over the years, USADA has allocated millions of dollars for cutting-edge scientific research aimed at understanding and effectively combating the use of performance-enhancing drugs. USADA has also collected and managed the results of thousands of anti-doping tests utilizing independent WADA-accredited laboratories that provide the most sophisticated analysis available. USADA’s efforts to protect clean athletes have been instrumental in numerous international investigations, including the steroid bust, Operation Raw Deal, and the BALCO laboratory conspiracy in San Francisco. USADA also led the investigation into systemic doping in the sport of cycling, primarily through its investigation of the US Postal Service Pro-Cycling Team Doping Conspiracy.
USADA continues to aspire to be a leader in the global anti-doping community in order to protect the rights of clean athletes and the integrity of competition around the world. USADA is based in Colorado Springs, Colorado, and employs more than 100 full and part-time employees around the globe.