The World Anti-Doping Agency (WADA) has announced it will urge world governments to increase their efforts in protecting the rights of clean athletes at the UNESCO Conference of Parties meeting that will be held at UNESCO headquarters in Paris from October 29-30.
Representatives from WADA, the International Olympic Committee (IOC), the International Paralympic Committee (IPC), the Council of Europe (CoE), INTERPOL, the World Customs Organization (WCO) and other anti-doping authorities will be joined by ministers from governments and public authorities at the UNESCO Conference of Parties meeting. This meeting will discuss the progress made in the fight against doping and the primary challenges that lie ahead. Furthermore, this conference will also offer a distinctive opportunity for representatives of states to adopt innovative measures for strengthening the monitoring obligations of States Parties and to improve the governance model of the Conference of Parties.
This conference will coincide with the 10th anniversary of the introduction of the International Convention against Doping in Sport by UNESCO that is a global convention drawn up in record time. The International Convention against Doping in Sport has allowed world governments to formally recognize and adhere to the World Anti-Doping Code. The Convention has now been ratified by 183 of the world’s 195 UNESCO member states.
WADA Director General David Howman remarked governments have a crucial role to play in protecting the rights of clean athletes because they have the ability to reach areas that the sport movement cannot, such as the introduction of administrative practices, policies, rules, regulation, and legislation that help reduce the trafficking and distribution of banned substances. Howman also commented that now is the time for Governments to implement that is to put words into action and prioritize anti-doping. This would send the right message to athletes and sport fans all around the world with the introduction of the improved World Anti-Doping Code earlier this year, and in light of the very public doping issues we have all seen recently. The WADA Director General also said only through coordinated action, with sport and governments giving their backing to anti-doping, can we succeed in leveling the playing field.
A few days back, WADA President Craig Reedie remarked it is considering a proposal to take over responsibility for drug testing from sports federations. This was after Olympic leaders agreed that testing should be independent from sports organizations and urged the World Anti-Doping Agency to study taking over the testing on a global level.
The recommendation that came out of an "Olympic Summit" held in Lausanne, Switzerland was made under the leadership of IOC President Thomas Bach. Reedie remarked he will submit the issue for discussion at the executive committee and foundation board meeting of the agency from November 17-18 in Colorado Springs, Colorado. Presently, WADA has its hands full at the moment with different high-profile investigations. A three-person commission is looking into allegations made in a German television documentary of widespread doping and cover-ups in Russia.
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