Agreements between nations to develop uniform approaches to combat the use of performance-enhancing substances were limited to specific sports until the 1990s. Through the leadership of the International Olympic Committee, representing the member countries of the Olympic movement, an impetus was created to establish a world body that would govern all aspects of anti-doping practice and procedure.
In 1995, Australia, Canada, New Zealand, Norway, and the United Kingdom were the signatories to the first such initiative, the International Anti-Doping Arrangement (IADA). Each of these countries had been prominent in the international effort to combat the use of performance-enhancing substances, particularly anabolic steroids. Other countries, including France and Sweden, became parties to the IADA shortly thereafter.
The stated mission of the IADA is to develop common anti-doping practices among each of the IADA member nations, and to harmonize existing practices where possible, and to ensure that the practices employed are identifiable as world best practices, and to use this standard to influence other sport nations to follow suit.
As with corporations throughout the world that have sought and obtained approval for their standards of practice in both manufacturing and quality control, the IADA anti-doping measures and protocols, known as the International Standards for Doping Control (ISDC), were accepted for certification by the International Organization for Standardization (ISO).
To further develop anti-doping initiatives, the members of IADA entered into a partnership with the World Anti-Doping Agency (WADA). The centerpiece of the enforcement practices of WADA, the World Anti-Doping Code, had its standards for testing developed by the expertise available through the IADA membership. The key components of the WADA partnership are the provision of training for all other countries that wish to implement ISO standard anti-doping mechanisms on a national level. The progress made by both the IADA members and WADA in this area has all occurred since 1999, the year in which WADA was formally established.
The influence of the IADA member countries continues to spread as a agency separate from the larger sports organizations. When WADA established a regional office in South Africa in 2003, that country became a signatory to the IADA initiative.