The World Anti-Doping Agency (WADA) and UNESCO celebrated the signing of the 100th Government to the International Convention against Doping in Sport in Paris, France. UNESCO’s Director General, Koïchiro Matsuura, and WADA’s Director General, David Howman, joined Ambassadors from most of the 100 countries that have ratified the Convention to mark the historical milestone.
Paraguay became the 100th signatory of the Convention, which was adopted on October 19, 2005, and entered into force on February 1, 2007. This is UNESCO’s most successful convention in terms of speed of development and implementation.
In just three years, more than half of UNESCO’s Member States from all regions of the world committed to fighting doping in sport. “Never before have global anti-doping efforts been stronger or more focused on providing an honest and equitable playing environment for athletes,” said Mr. Matsuura.
The Convention is designed to ensure a consistent approach to anti-doping efforts and compel governments into action, such as restricting the supply of performance enhancing substances and methods, curtailing trafficking and regulating dietary and nutritional supplements. “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.”
The 29th Olympiad in Beijing was the first to be held since the Convention entered into force. During this event, the largest ever testing program was conducted, involving more than 4,770 doping controls. “The International Olympic Committee (IOC) is committed to doing all it can to eliminate doping from sport,” said the IOC’s President, Jacques Rogge, in a written statement. “This fight is a number one priority. However, for us to be truly effective with our efforts, close cooperation between sports organizations and Governments is crucial.”
UNESCO continues to raise public awareness by working with Governments on anti-doping education, policy and prevention programs. Jamaica, Mozambique, Mali and Uruguay were the first recipients of financial assistance through UNESCO’s Fund for the Elimination of Doping in Sport. “While the Convention provides the roadmap, the Fund provides the means to achieve its principal objective—to promote the fight against doping so that future generations can enjoy and excel in doping-free sport,” said Mr. Matsuura.
“This milestone shows that Public Authorities are well aware of the impact of doping on public health and recognize the need to further coordinate efforts with the sports movement to advance the fight against doping,” said WADA’s President, The Hon. John Fahey, in a written statement. “WADA now looks forward to the ratification of the Convention by the remaining 93 Member States of UNESCO.”