The Director-General of UNESCO, Koïchiro Matsuura, welcomed the American decision. “I am delighted that the United States has joined the international effort to combat doping in sport,” he declared. “Ratifying the Convention in this Olympic Year sends a powerful message to athletes around the world that doping will not be tolerated. This convention is a vital weapon in the struggle to eliminate a destructive practice that undermines everything that sport stands for.”
The International Convention against Doping in Sport represents the first time that governments around the world have agreed to apply the force of international law to anti-doping. Accordingly, the Convention helps to formalize global anti-doping rules, policies and guidelines in order to ensure an honest and equitable playing environment for all athletes. It was adopted by the UNESCO General Conference in 2005 and entered into force 1 February 2007.
The Convention is designed to compel action as there are specific areas where only governments can advance anti-doping efforts, such as restricting the availability to athletes of performance enhancing drugs or methods. Action is required to reach athlete support personnel, to curtail trafficking and to regulate nutritional supplements. The Convention helps ensure coordination of testing, with uniform sanctions for any infraction. The Convention also promotes, through the Fund for the Elimination of Doping in Sport, the development of education, training and research programmes.