|Editorial Contact:||Sue Williams – Email|
|11-12-2006 8:00 pm The International Convention against Doping in Sport will enter into force on 1 February, 2007, after its ratification today by Luxembourg and in accordance with paragraph 1 Article 37 of the text, which stipulates that “this Convention shall enter into force on the first day of the month following the expiration of a period of one month after the date of deposit of the thirtieth instrument of ratification, acceptance, approval or accession.” The Convention, the first such international instrument in the area of doping in sport, was ratified by 30 States* in record time.
“No other international standard-setting instrument elaborated by UNESCO has been ratified so rapidly,” declared Koïchiro Matsuura, Director-General of UNESCO. “This much awaited Convention will enter into force in little over a month. This is good news for all and a clear signal to youth and the sporting world – both amateur and professional – that we take this question very seriously.
“UNESCO’s Member States have shown determination and responsibility by respecting the commitments they have made to sport. The struggle against doping is a choice of education, an ethical combat for human rights, and a wager on life. Thanks to this Convention, the anti-doping struggle is brought for the first time into the realm of international law. Governments, sporting federations, the Olympic movement and civil society now have a veritable, legally-binding international instrument.”
The World Anti-Doping Code, adopted by the World Anti-Doping Agency (WADA) in March 2003, represented the first attempt to harmonize standards in the fight against doping in sport. But because WADA is a Swiss private law foundation, the Code was not legally binding according to public law. The new Convention harmonizes the rules concerning doping in all sports and all countries.
The Director-General will convene the first session of the Conference of States Parties from 5-7 February at UNESCO Headquarters. States Parties will elect a Bureau, adopt rules of procedure and create a Voluntary Contribution Fund for the elimination of doping in sport. Modifications to the World Anti-Doping Agency’s Prohibited List will also be on the agenda.
As part of the effort to promote the fight against doping, the Belgian tennis player Justine Hénin-Hardenne will be named UNESCO Champion for Sport on 14 December 2006. She has pledged to use her fame to promote the fight against doping in sport and to help educate young people about the risks they incur.
*Sweden, Canada, Denmark, New Zealand, Norway, Australia, Monaco, Iceland, Cook Islands, Nigeria, Latvia, United Kingdom of Great Britain and Northern Ireland, Nauru, Seychelles, Mauritius, Lithuania, Jamaica, China, Bahamas, Peru, Mozambique, Spain, Romania, Niger, Ukraine, Bolivia, Netherlands, Namibia, South Africa and Luxembourg.