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UNESCO chief lauds United States’ ratification of sports anti-doping pact

UNESCO chief lauds United States’ ratification of sports anti-doping pact

UNESCO Director-General, Koïchiro Matsuura
The head of the United Nations Educational, Scientific and Cultural Organization (UNESCO) today welcomed the United States’ ratification of a global convention against the practice of doping in sports, saying it sends a valuable message on the eve of the opening of the Beijing Olympics.

US President George W. Bush yesterday signed the instrument of ratification of UNESCO’s International Convention against Doping in Sport, which means more than 90 countries have now signed the pact.

The US Senate had approved the convention late last month, paving the way for yesterday’s move.

“Ratifying the convention in this Olympic year sends a powerful message to athletes around the world that doping will not be tolerated,” UNESCO Director-General Koïchiro Matsuura said in a press statement issued in Paris, the agency’s headquarters.

“This convention is a vital weapon in the struggle to eliminate a destructive practice that undermines everything that sport stands for.”

The convention, which entered into force in February last year, aims to formalize global anti-doping rules, policies and guidelines so that there is an honest and equitable playing environment for all athletes.

The treaty calls on States Parties to support, devise or implement anti-doping education and training programmes and to promote the active participation of their athletes and support personnel in all aspects of the anti-doping process.

The text of the pact also stipulates that all the world’s athletes be subject to the same doping rules and that they are regularly tested, with uniform sanctions and penalties for any infractions.