The formation of the Australian Sports Drug Agency (ASDA) was a product of the anti-doping drive by various international sports organizations in the late 1990s, an effort that culminated in the founding of the World Anti-Doping Agency (WADA)
Australia was one of the first sports nations to declare drug-free sport as a goal that was as important as competitive athletic success. Australia has taken considerable national pride in the success of its individual athletes and teams at an international level. As a nation with a large geographic area and a relatively small population (approximately 20 million people of 2006), Australia has a higher level of athletic participation than that of the populations of United States, Canada, or any nation of the European Union. Australia is a world power in rugby, cricket, swimming, diving, and the triathlon. The ASDA has marketed its national anti-doping campaigns as a concept interwoven with national athletic pride. The stated mission of the ASDA is to protect Australia's sporting integrity through the elimination of doping.
As with all other national anti-doping agencies, the ASDA is responsible for the administration of all WADA-formulated testing procedures, with respect to competitions held in Australia, on both a national and international level. One example of ASDA supervision is the 2006 Commonwealth Games, the largest athletic event in the world after the Summer Olympics. The ASDA also provides contract doping testing services—when retained—at any sports event held in Australia. The ASDA is a signatory to the WADA Anti-Doping Code.
The ASDA operates in accordance with three general operating principles: deterrence, detection, and enforcement. In addition to these principles, the ASDA provides anti-doping health and education programs throughout Australian athletics. The ASDA, like its companion body, the United States Anti-Doping Agency (USADA), is responsible for all of the administration and bureaucratic support provided to all testing programs. The ASDA maintains the Athlete Whereabouts Form, known as the Athlete Location Form in other jurisdictions, which facilitates the conduct of out-of-competition testing programs. In a similar fashion, the ASDA supervises the Therapeutic Use Exemptions sometimes claimed by athletes regarding a prescribed medication.