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Binding UN-backed treaty against doping in sport to come into force on 1 February

Binding UN-backed treaty against doping in sport to come into force on 1 February

A United Nations-backed treaty that is the first binding and universal legal instrument seeking to eliminate doping in sport will enter into force on 1 February following its 30th ratification yesterday, imposing uniform rules, tests and sanctions worldwide and giving fresh emphasis to raising public awareness of the scourge.

The International Convention Against Doping in Sport, which promotes no-advance- notice, out-of-competition and in-competition testing, was adopted unanimously by the General Conference of the UN Educational, Scientific and Cultural Organization (UNESCO) in October 2005.

“No other international standard-setting instrument elaborated by UNESCO has been ratified so rapidly,” UNESCO Director-General Koïchiro Matsuura said yesterday after the treaty’s ratification by Luxembourg.

“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,” he added.

“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.”

Mr. Matsuura will convene the first session of the Conference of States Parties from 5-7 February at UNESCO headquarters in Paris. States Parties will elect a Bureau, adopt rules of procedure and create a Voluntary Contribution Fund for the elimination of doping in sport.

The treaty commits States Parties to adopt steps in line with the principles stated in the World Anti-Doping Code of the World Anti-Doping Agency, adopted during the World Conference on Doping in Sport held in Copenhagen in 2003. But because the Agency is a Swiss private law foundation, the Code is not legally binding according to public law.