A Conference at UNESCO to examine future of fight against doping
The Conference of States Parties to the International Convention against Doping in Sport took place at UNESCO Headquarters in Paris from 26 to 28 October. Unanimously adopted by UNESCO’s General Conference on 19 October 2005, the Convention has already been ratified by 127 States. Approximately 250 government representatives discussed the future of the fight against doping in sport at the conference.
The Convention can claim a major success in terms of its ratification, as the number of States Parties has tripled since the first session of the Conference of States Parties in February 2007.
The opening ceremony was marked by speeches by Koïchiro Matsuura, Director-General of UNESCO; Wilfried Lemke, the Special Adviser to the Secretary-General of the United Nations on Sport for Development and Peace; John Fahey, President of the World Anti-Doping Agency; Arne Lundqvist, Chairman of the International Olympic Committee Medical Commission; and Miguel Sagarra, Vice-President of the International Paralympic Committee.
The Conference examined the administration of the Fund for the Elimination of Doping in Sport, created by UNESCO in application of the Convention. Thanks to the generosity of 19 Member States, the Fund disposes of US$ 2.2 million to help national or international anti-doping projects. Operational since 2008, the Fund has already helped seven projects in Africa (Mali, Mozambique and Seychelles), America (Barbados, Jamaica and Uruguay) and Europe (Albania). New projects have recently been submitted.
The Conference also examined the electronic system set up by UNESCO to monitor the implementation of the Convention. This system - the first electronic monitoring system for a United Nations convention - has been developed to lay the ground for a coherent monitoring system of anti-doping programmes of all stakeholders, governments and sports organizations.
The Conference adopted a list of substances and methods banned in sport so as to dispose, by 1 January 2010, of a list that is harmonized between States and sports organizations. The World Anti-Doping Code, adopted by the World Anti-Doping Agency (WADA) in March 2003, was the first attempt to harmonize standards in the fight against doping in sport. But given the nature of WADA, which is a private foundation registered in Switzerland, the Code was not endowed with the binding legal status of public law. The Convention harmonizes doping regulations in all sports and in all countries.
The Conference heared a report by the World Anti-Doping Agency about the implementation of the World Anti-Doping Code. The Code stipulates that any government which shall omit to ratify the Convention by 1 January 2010, or which shall subsequently not comply with it, shall no longer be admissible as a candidate for organizing sports events.