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Countries must ratify anti-doping pact if they want to host Olympic Games – UNESCO

Countries must ratify anti-doping pact if they want to host Olympic Games – UNESCO

The head of the United Nations Educational, Scientific and Cultural Organization (UNESCO) today hailed a call by the International Olympic Committee (IOC) to render cities in countries that have not ratified the UN anti-doping treaty ineligible to host the Olympic Games.

“I heartily welcome the IOC’s proposition, which UNESCO will completely support,” agency Director-General Koïchiro Matsuura said in a statement, calling on the international community to speed up ratification of the International Convention Against Doping in Sport, which promotes no-advance-notice, out-of-competition and in-competition testing.

“It is already remarkable that the next three Olympic Games – Beijing in 2008, Vancouver in 2010 and London in 2012 – will be held in countries that have ratified the Convention,” he added.

The treaty, the first binding and universal legal instrument seeking to eliminate doping in sport, came into force last month after receiving its 30th ratification, following its unanimous adoption by the UNESCO’s General Conference in October 2005. It imposes uniform rules, tests and sanctions worldwide and gives fresh emphasis to raising public awareness of the scourge. To date, 48 countries have ratified it.

“This mobilization must be pursued, and all efforts must be made to ensure that the ideals of the Olympic movement are supported by the aspirations expressed in UNESCO’s Convention against Doping in Sport, especially ahead of the Games of 2014 and 2016,” Mr. Matsuura said.

He also welcomed the present process of reviewing the World Anti-Doping Code with the aim of linking the organization of any international sporting event to the ratification of UNESCO’s Convention.

“This measure bears witness to the strong backing the world of sport is lending to the fight against doping and to the effective implementation of the principles of harmonization and cooperation that are at the heart of the Convention,” he added.