February 2, 2007
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WADA to Further Urge Governments’ Commitment to Fight against Doping in Sport at UNESCO Convention Conference of Parties

The World Anti-Doping Agency (WADA) announced today that it will further urge governments of the world to fulfill their responsibilities in the fight against doping in sport during the first session of the Conference of Parties to the International Convention against Doping in Sport (Convention), to be held February 5-7 at UNESCO’s headquarters in Paris, France.

“Governments have a key role in the fight against doping in sport,” said WADA President Richard W. Pound. “By adopting the Convention in just two years and ratifying it within under a year, they set a world record for UNESCO and signalled their strong commitment to clean sport. But this milestone is also a crossroads. Governments which haven’t ratified the treaty now need to move forward without delay. The recent rash of high-profile doping cases and investigations underscores the fact that public and sports authorities need to increase coordination of their anti-doping activities in order to further gain efficiency in this fight.”

Governments’ authority, when applied to the fight against doping in sport, greatly advances efforts. For example, governments can take action against the illegal manufacture, trafficking and supply of doping substances, facilitate doping controls, support education, fund research, and take other equally important measures.

During the first Conference of Parties to the International Convention against Doping in Sport, the Bureau (the Chairperson, four Vice Chairs and a Rapporteur) will be established, and the Rules of Procedure adopted.  Other key items for discussion include administration of the Fund for the Elimination of Doping in Sport (a fund to build anti-doping capacity around the world) and consideration of a monitoring framework in support of the Convention. The Conference of Parties will also adopt the 2007 Prohibited List. WADA Vice President, French Minister of Youth, Sport and Voluntary Work Jean-François Lamour, and WADA Director General David Howman will address delegates and stress the importance of governments’ action in the fight against doping.

The International Convention against Doping in Sport is the treaty formalizing the commitment of governments to 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 (Code), the document harmonizing regulations regarding anti-doping in all sports and all countries of the world, which entered into force on January 1, 2004. Governments accordingly drafted the International Convention under the auspices of UNESCO—the United Nations body responsible for education, science and culture—enabling them to align their domestic policies with the Code and thereby harmonizing sport rules and public legislation in the fight against doping in sport. The Convention was unanimously adopted by the 191 States present at the General Conference of UNESCO in Paris, France, on October 19, 2005.

The Convention entered in force yesterday, February 1, following the deposit at UNESCO of the 30th instrument of ratification on December 11—a threshold required by UNESCO procedures for this treaty. As of today, 45 countries have ratified the Convention.

Click here to find the list of countries that have ratified the Convention.

Click here to visit the section of UNESCO’s Web site about the Convention and anti-doping.