Copenhagen, March 5, 2003 – All major sports federations and nearly 80 governments gave their approval today to the first World Anti-Doping Code by backing a Resolution that accepts the Code as the basis for the fight against doping in sport. The Resolution was adopted at the final session of a three-day Conference and lays out the responsibilities of both the Olympic Movement and world governments to adopt and implement the Code in a timely manner. The Code is the first international instrument to harmonize rules regarding doping across all sports and all nations.
“This Conference has truly been a historic event,” said Richard W. Pound, WADA’s president and chair of the Conference. “I congratulate both the governments and the Olympic Movement for putting the good of the athletes above any other interests and making sure that we waste no more time in taking the fight against doping to a new level.”
Prior to the adoption of the Resolution, WADA’s Foundation Board met and unanimously adopted the Code. In addition, 50 governments signed the Government Declaration on Doping in Sport, which outlines the governments’ commitment to the adoption and implementation of the Code. Another 23 governments present at the Conference have said they will sign at a later date.
The acceptance of the Resolution and signing of the Declaration capped three days during which governments, the sports movement and athletes had opportunities to express their views on the Code. All governments and sports organizations who spoke during the sessions expressed their approval of the Code. In addition, athletes made it clear during a session set aside for them that they feel the Code is needed and should be accepted and implemented as soon as possible.
“It’s great that we have been able to make the strides we have made at this Conference,” said Susie O’Neill, Olympic champion, IOC Athletes’ Commission member and WADA Board Member. “But we have to remember this is only the first step. Now everybody needs to look ahead and make sure the Code is implemented.”
During the Conference’s opening ceremony, Dr. Jacques Rogge, president of the International Olympic Committee, said that the IOC will accept the Code. He added that there would be no place in the Olympic Games for any government or International Federations that do not accept the Code.
Sports organizations are expected to accept and implement the Code before the 2004 Olympic Games in Athens. Governments will have an additional two years, until the Olympic Games in Turin in 2006, to put into place legislation accepting the Code.
More than 1,000 people attended the Conference in Copenhagen.
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