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Sunday 16, Nov 2008

  More than 100 nations sign anti-doping treaty at UN – Should we rejoice?

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wada steroidsAnti-doping authorities and United Nations officials are ecstatic that 102 countries have ratified a treaty to rid sport of dopers. If you asked us, we think it’s much better if the headline reads “More than 100 nations sign anti-war treaty”, or something along that line.

In our view, there are numerous and far more important issues that need to be addressed before politicians come after athletes who voluntarily use steroids and other performance boosters.

Take the case of Uganda, the 102nd signee of the anti-doping treaty. Ugandan officials – and the UN – should first look deeper into the human rights violations that take place at the country’s peripheries.

Then take a look at the United States.  We ask when will the United States, the 94th country to ratify the anti-doping agreement, put its stamp of approval on the Kyoto Protocol. We expect the answer would be never.

Associated Press reports on this treaty’s ‘momentous’ signing:

The director general of the World Anti-Doping Agency is hopeful the fight against drug cheats will gain ground now that over 100 countries have signed a United Nations treaty.

WADA’s David Howman said Wednesday that 102 countries have ratified the UNESCO Convention on Doping in Sport since it went into effect nearly two years ago. It means -doping measures become part of national law in the countries that have ratified the agreement.

“This is setting the standards very high. To the world governments that have shown much in fighting the scourge of doping, thank you from WADA,” Howman said Wednesday. “We’ve reached 100, in fact we’re starting to get over 100.”

At the end of February, with the number at 77, WADA president John Fahey had urged for more cooperation. Speaking at the UNESCO headquarters in Paris after a ceremony to mark the 100 signatures, he said “we’re not there yet.

“We still have a long way to go,” he added, “(Doping) is too easy in many countries there are not strong enough laws,” Howman said. “Let’s enhance the fight through legislation.”
UNESCO director-general Koichiro Matsuura called reaching 100 “an important step in the world fight against doping in sport” and said “the accent has been put on a dedication against doping, in both the scientific and the medical domain.”

Ratification of this agreement “helps a member nation prevent cross-border trafficking of sporting drugs, support a national drug-testing program and withhold funding from athletes caught cheating”, says the AP report.

Thursday 07, Aug 2008

  George Bush signs policy on steroids, PEDs – three years later

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George W. Bush steroidsPresident Bush has signed an agreement against use of steroids and other performance-enhancing drugs in sports. The agreement has, in fact, been adopted by UNESCO in 2005 and whose purpose is “to promote the prevention of and the fight against doping in sport, with a view to its elimination.”

Under the agreement, anti-doping violations include:

•    use or attempted use of a prohibited substance or a prohibited method; possession of prohibited substances or methods;
•    tampering, or attempting to tamper, with any part of the doping control; and
•    administration of a prohibited substance or a prohibited method to any athlete, or assisting, encouraging, aiding, abetting, covering up, or any other type of complicity involving an anti-doping rule violation or any attempted violation.

With just a few months to go before he leaves the White House, we just hope that this pact does not constitute a legacy in President Bush’s vocabulary. If it does, we’d say: WHAT THE PACT? WE WANT SOMETHING MORE THAN THIS, SIR! We mean, come on, an anti-steroid agreement?