WADA have signed a global agreement with Astellas Pharma to tackle the abuse of medicines in sport ©WADA

A global agreement has been signed by the World Anti-Doping Agency (WADA) and Astellas Pharma, with the two organisations partnering to fight against the misuse and abuse of medicines for doping in sports.

Under the terms of the agreement, Japanese pharmaceutical company Astellas will identify "compounds developed by them or their affiliates" which could potentially be used for sport-related doping abuse. 

They will then share information to help WADA develop methods to detect the compounds, while they will also attempt to minimalise the risk of the misuse of compounds with doping potential, during clinical trials.

The agreement centres on the premise that doping in sport relies predominately on the misuse of commercially available medicine, as well as those still in development which are not easily detectable.

"WADA is encouraged to be partnering with Astellas on the prevention of misuse and abuse of medicines for doping in sports," said Sir Craig Reedie, WADA President.

"It’s a win-win arrangement.

"Essentially, Astellas will inform WADA during compound development if there is potential for future abuse in sport; and, the Agency commits to inform Astellas should it uncover evidence of black market supply involving their compounds.

"This partnership acknowledges that the impacts of doping extend well beyond elite athletes to include society on the whole."

Astellas are to cooperate in sharing information to aid WADA to develop methods to detect compounds ©Getty Images
Astellas are to cooperate in sharing information to aid WADA to develop methods to detect compounds ©Getty Images

WADA say that Astellas’ activities are aligned with their recent guidance, which was published with the International Federation of Pharmaceutical Manufacturers & Associations (IFPMA).

The guidance was aimed at helping pharmaceutical and biotechnology companies increase their role in the fight against sport-related doping.

Enitled "Points to Consider: Identification of Compounds with Potential for Doping Abuse and Sharing of Information with WADA", the guidance includes a range of best practices. 

"Astellas is committed to ensuring the safe and effective use of its therapies in appropriate settings, and we are proud to be the first Japan-based company to partner with WADA in its efforts to prevent the inappropriate use of medical products through doping," said Kenji Yasukawa, chief strategy officer at Astellas.

"Enhancing performance in sports through doping is considered a serious public health issue by the sport movement and public authorities worldwide.

"It is critical that pharmaceutical companies play a role in helping to address this important public health concern."