The United Nations today celebrated a new milestone in the battle to eliminate doping in sport when Paraguay became the 100 country to sign the first worldwide binding legal instrument that imposes uniform rules, tests and sanctions against the scourge.
“Never before have global anti-doping efforts been stronger or more focused on providing an honest and equitable playing environment for athletes,” UN Educational, Scientific and Cultural Organization (UNESCO) Director-General Koïchiro Matsuura said at a ceremony in Paris.
The International Convention Against Doping in Sport, which promotes no-advance-notice, out-of-competition and in-competition testing, was adopted unanimously by UNESCO’s General Conference in October 2005 and came into force on 1 February 2007 following its 30th ratification.
The treaty, designed to ensure a consistent approach to anti-doping efforts and compel governments into action to restrict the supply of performance-enhancing substances and methods, curtail trafficking and regulate dietary and nutritional supplements, is UNESCO’s most successful convention in terms of speed of development and implementation.
In just three years, more than half UNESCO’s Member States from all regions of the world committed to fighting doping in sport.
“Recent high profile doping cases and investigations have shown how decisive Government action can be,” World Anti-Doping Agency (WADA) Director-General David Howman said.
During this year’s Beijing Olympics, the first to be held since the Convention entered into force, the largest ever testing programme was conducted, involving more than 4,770 doping controls. “The International Olympic Committee (IOC) is committed to doing all it can to eliminate doping from sport,” International Olympic Committee President Jacques Rogge said in a written statement.
“WADA now looks forward to the ratification of the Convention by the remaining 93 Member States of UNESCO,” WADA President John Fahey said in a written statement.