WADA Applauds Swift Ratification by Governments of International Convention against Doping in Sport

Agency Welcomes Entry into Force as a Key Step in the Global Fight against Doping in Sport 

WADA Press Release - Montreal, 11 December 2006  – The World Anti-Doping Agency (WADA) welcomed today the deposit at UNESCO of the 30th instrument of ratification of the International Convention against Doping in Sport (Convention) by the government of Luxembourg. Reaching the threshold of 30 ratifications, required by UNESCO procedures for this convention, means that the first global treaty against doping in sport will enter into force on February 1, 2007.

“The Convention’s entry into force signals the strong commitment of the governments of the world to the fight against doping in sport,” said WADA President Richard W. Pound. “The drafting and unanimous adoption of this Convention in just two years is a world record for international treaties, and now its entry into force within under a year of its adoption is another record in the history of UNESCO. We warmly commend and thank UNESCO for facilitating the process, and we look forward to the ratification of the Convention by all governments of the world.”

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. This Convention was unanimously adopted by the 191 States present at the General Conference of UNESCO in Paris, France, on October 19, 2005.

“The speed at which governments are ratifying the Convention clearly shows that public authorities are well aware of the importance of stemming the scourge of doping in sport and its impact on pubic health. Governments also recognize the need to partner with the sports movement to coordinate efforts for efficiency and effectiveness in anti-doping,” said WADA Vice-President and Minister for Culture and Sport in Denmark Brian Mikkelsen. “The commitment of governments to this fight has been highlighted by their decisive action in a number of recent high-profile cases and investigations, and I am certain that the partnership between governments and the sports movement, facilitated by WADA, will continue to grow.”

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

Some 186 countries have signed the Copenhagen Declaration on Anti-Doping in Sport, the political document through which governments show their intention to implement the World Anti-Doping Code through ratification of the UNESCO Convention. It is expected that all of them will ratify the Convention for practical implementation of the universally accepted anti-doping rules and principles.

You can find the list of countries that have ratified the Convention and more information on the Convention by clicking here.

The UNESCO Web site also provides valuable information on the Convention: www.unesco.org/en/antidoping

By Secretariat