On 3 December 2014, the World Anti-Doping Agency (“WADA”) announced a global collaboration agreement with American pharmaceutical corporation Pfizer Inc.

Under the agreement, medicines in development by Pfizer will be reviewed to identify substances with a probable or high risk of abuse in sport – scientists will look for any similarity to the pharmacological characteristics of existing performance-enhancing substances including those that produce stimulatory effects, or improved strength or physical endurance. Any new medicines found to have performance-enhancing characteristics (along with any relevant scientific data) will be voluntarily disclosed by Pfizer to WADA in order that it can devise and refine detection methods for such substances. In return, WADA will share information with Pfizer on substances that are being abused by athletes.

This is the latest in a series of agreements between WADA and various pharmaceutical bodies; it has previously entered into agreements with the International Federation of Pharmaceutical Manufacturers and Associations and a number of its members.

The announcement of this new agreement comes just a few weeks in advance of the implementation of the new World Anti-Doping Code, which comes into force on 1 January 2015.