In a move to help even the playing field in international sports, UNESCO celebrated the ratification of the International Convention against Doping in Sport
in Paris yesterday.
Paraguay added the 100th signature necessary for the Convention to take effect, making the Convention UNESCO’s most successful in terms of speed of implementation. In just three years, the Convention secured support from over half of UNESCO’s member states to help ensure fair play in athletics. The Director-General of UNESCO, Koïchiro Matsuura, the Director-General of the World Anti-Doping Agency (WADA), David Howman, and Jaime Lissavetzky, Spanish State Secretary for Sport, joined Ambassadors from most of the 100 countries that have ratified the Convention to mark the occasion.
The Convention calls on governments to apply the force of international law to anti-doping strategies, encourages greater cooperation between governments and sporting agencies, and establishes a funding mechanism to help governments meet their obligations. While the Convention helps formalize anti-doping policies and guidelines, government support is crucial. Signatory governments have committed to:
• Restrict the supply of performance enhancing substances and methods;
• Curtail trafficking of prohibited substances;
• Regulate dietary and nutritional supplements;
• Withhold financial support from athletes and supporting personnel who commit anti-doping violations or from sporting organizations that are not in compliance with the Code.
“Recent high profile doping cases and investigations have shown how decisive Government action can be,” observed Mr. Howman. “The Convention allows Governments to align their domestic policies with the World Anti-Doping Code, thus harmonizing the rules governing anti-doping in sport and public legislation. WADA is very grateful to UNESCO for its leading role in this process.”
With this Convention, UNESCO advances the spirit of fair and honest competition in international sporting events. UNESCO and WADA are now calling on the remaining 93 UNESCO Member States to ratify as well.
Photo: © UNESCO/D.Bijeljac