POSTED: November 13th 2008

Paraguay signs the pledge

David Howman: urging government support / Image: WADA
David Howman: urging government support / Image: WADA

SPECIAL CORRESPONDENT / Sports Features Communications

PARIS: Paraguay set a milestone in the fight against performance-enhancing drugs when it became the 100th country to ratify the International Convention against Doping in Sport in Paris.

The convention, which was formalised on October 19, 2005, by the United Nations Educational, Scientific and Cultural Organisation, came into force on February 1, 2007. It has been the most successful convention in terms of speed of development and implementation.

UNESCO’s director-general Koichiro Matsuura and David Howman, director-general of the World Anti-Doping Agency, marked the occasion with ambassadors from most of the other signatory nations.

Matsuura said: “Never before have global anti-doping efforts been stronger or more focused on providing an honest and equitable playing environment for athletes.”

The convention is designed to ensure a consistent approach to anti-doping efforts and compel governments into restricting the supply and trafficking of performance-enhancing substances and regulate dietary and nutritional supplements.

Howman said: “Recent high-profile doping cases and investigations have shown how decisive government action can be. This convention allows Governments to align their domestic policies with the World Anti-Doping Code, thus harmonising the rules governing anti-doping in sport and public legislation. WADA is very grateful to UNESCO for its leading role in this process.”

The 29th Olympiad in Beijing, the first since the convention’s adoption, saw the largest-ever testing programme thus far, involving more than 4,770 doping controls.

IOC president Jacques Rogge, in a written statement, said: “The fight against doping is a No1 priority. Close cooperation between sports organizations and Governments is crucial.”

Keywords · Paraguay · International Convention against Doping in Sport · UNESCO · Koichiro Matsuura · David Howman · WADA · Beijing · IOC · Jacques Rogge

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