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Meeting calls for UN help to draft global anti-doping treaty for athletes

Meeting calls for UN help to draft global anti-doping treaty for athletes

Stressing that doping "threatens to kill sport as surely as it kills athletes," the ministers and representatives attending a sport and physical education summit in Paris has urgently called on the United Nations to help draft an international convention to fight the scourge.

According to the UN Educational, Scientific and Cultural Organization (UNESCO), senior physical education officials from 103 countries who attended the two-day Round Table on Physical Education and Sport stressed in a communiqué that prevention is the best defence to the risk of doping among young people.

The officials urged other competent UN system agencies and the Council of Europe, in close collaboration with other concerned bodies such as the International Olympic Committee, the World Anti-Doping Agency and the Intergovernmental Consultative Group on Anti-Doping in Sport (IICGADS), to coordinate the preparation, if possible before the Summer Olympic Games of 2004, and the adoption, if possible before the Winter Olympic Games of 2006, of a universal international instrument for this purpose.

The meeting, which ended last Friday, also called for sport to be given its rightful place in education systems, particularly now that sport has become a significant economic activity and gained unprecedented prominence and visibility across the world.

The ministers also called for improved protection of young athletes against the risks of high level sport, and pledged to safeguard against such risks as child labour, violence, doping, early specialization, over-training, and exploitative forms of commercialization as well as less visible threats and deprivations such as the premature severance of family bonds and the loss of sporting, social and cultural ties.