November 2, 2005
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Governments' Ratification of International Convention Underway

The World Anti-Doping Agency (WADA) has received notification from Bosse Ringholm, Deputy Prime Minister of Sweden, that the Swedish Government has decided to ratify the International Convention against Doping in Sport and “will deposit the instrument of ratification at the office of the UNESCO General-Director in the next few days.” This is the first official notification received by WADA from its government stakeholders regarding the ratification of the Convention which was adopted unanimously by the General Conference of UNESCO on October 19, 2005.

“We welcome this news as a very positive step in the global fight against doping in sport and we look forward to others following the example set by the Swedish Government,” said WADA chairman Richard W. Pound. “Governments have assured the sports movement that they would adopt this Convention in order for it to be implemented prior to the first day of the 2006 Olympic Winter Games in Torino. This is a very important demonstration of government commitment to our partnership in the fight against doping in sport.”

Until now, many governments could not be legally bound by a non-governmental document such as the World Anti-Doping Code, the document harmonizing regulations regarding anti-doping in all sports and all countries of the world. Governments accordingly drafted the International Convention under the auspices of UNESCO, enabling them to align their domestic legislation with the Code and thereby harmonizing the sport and public legislation in the fight against doping in sport. The Convention is now available for UNESCO member states to ratify according to their respective constitutional jurisdictions. Under UNESCO procedures for this Convention, thirty countries must ratify the Convention prior to December 31, 2005, in order for it to become effective in time for the 2006 Winter Olympic Games.