In the late 1990’s the Directors of the IOC accredited laboratories decided that sport would benefit from a stronger and coherent voice of the world’s leading anti-doping scientists Furthermore, with the inception of more generic accreditation requirements (ISO guide 25, now ISO 17025) a means of co-ordinating inter-laboratory studies was needed. Late in 1998 a small group of IOC laboratory directors  met at the Mövenpick Hotel on the outskirts of Frankfurt, en route to the annual IOC Heads of Laboratories meeting.  The attendees were Larry Bowers (Director of the Indianapolis Laboratory at that time), Wilhelm Schänzer (Cologne), Laurent Rivier (Director of the Swiss laboratory at that time), Ray Kazlauskas (Sydney), David Cowan (London) and Frans Delbecke (Ghent). This meeting produced the first draft of the Association’s constitution and regulations.  These were subsequently refined over the next two years at the Cologne Workshop and adopted as well as deciding the name of the association.  The first election was held in 2001 and David Cowan was elected as president of the association.  The constitution set objectives:

  • Maintain excellence in the science and practice of anti-doping programs in the interest of all athletes;
  • Facilitate harmonization of modern scientific methodology for effective anti-doping control;
  • Provide reliable information concerning the scientific aspects of anti-doping programs in the public interest;
  • Foster good will and co-operation among members.

That year the WAADS QA program was launched with the distribution of a nandrolone sample as well as a mixture of ephedrines.  Since then the QA program has continued to provide samples to laboratories to ensure continual improvement. This program complements the rigorous EQAS program WADA imposes as part of its ISL requirements.


Presidents of the Association have been: 

Tiia Kuuranne (2020-2023)


Catrin Goebel (2018-2020)

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Christiane Ayotte (2016-2018)



Peter Van Eenoo  (2014-2016)


Jordi Segura (2012-2014)


Guenter Gmeiner (2010-2012)


Costas Georgakopoulos (2008-2010)


Francesco Botre (2006-2008)


Frans Delbecke (2003-2004)



Ray Kazlauskas (2002-2003)



David Cowan (2001-2002)




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