October 17, 2003
Bookmark and Share

WADA Praises UNESCO Decision for International Convention Against Doping in Sport

Montreal, October 17, 2003 - The World Anti- Doping Agency (WADA) today praised yesterday’s vote by the UNESCO General Conference in Paris to create an international convention against doping in sport. The convention will be the means through which world governments will accept and implement the World Anti-Doping Code, which harmonizes anti-doping rules across all nations and all sports, and acknowledge the role and responsibilities of WADA.

The UNESCO members showed great enthusiasm for the creation of this convention, which was initially proposed at a Ministerial Round Table in January 2003, and whose text will be submitted to the next UNESCO General Conference in October 2005.

“The decision to move forward with the drafting of a convention is a monumental step in the fight against doping in sport,” said Richard W. Pound, WADA’s president. “UNESCO has shown its leadership in fully assuming its role in this effort and in ensuring that governments have a legally binding document through which they can accept and implement the World Anti-Doping Code and demonstrate their commitment to the fight against doping in sport.”

The Code was unanimously approved by delegates to the World Conference on Doping in Sport in Copenhagen earlier this year. Sports organizations will accept and implement the Code prior to the Olympic Games in Athens next year. Governments, who need this convention in order to formally implement the Code, had asked that they be given an additional 18 months (until the beginning of the 2006 Olympic Winter Games) for that purpose. To date, 85 countries have signed the Copenhagen Declaration, signaling their acceptance of the Code as the basis for the fight against doping in sport.

“Now that this important first step has been taken, governments need to be prepared to move quickly to meet their 2006 deadline,” Pound said. “The process of drafting a convention in two years requires a strict timeline and governments must be ready to show equal reaction speed in signing the convention and in implementing the Code prior to the Turin Games.”

Point of Contact for the media:

Frederic DONZE
Manager, Media Relations
Tel: + 1 514 904 8820
Cell: + 1 514 979 8820
E-mail: frederic.donze@wada-ama.org