UNESCO declares war on doping

At its plenary session in Paris on Wednesday, the General Conference of UNESCO unanimously passed a treaty to combat drugs in sport. Officially named the "International Convention against Doping in Sport" (ICDS), the accord seeks to unify anti-doping efforts across all sports and UNESCO member states. However, for it to take effect, at least 30 UN member governments need to sign it, and even then, they would be the only countries bound by it. UNESCO hopes that it will be in effect before the next Winter Olympics in Turin, Italy in early 2006.

"This is the first time a legal instrument aimed at eradicating doping is both binding and universal," said UNESCO in a statement. "A global response to a global problem, such is the challenge put to the new Convention. It supplies governments with a legal framework for an international harmonization of efforts in the fight against a scourge that flouts the ethical and social values of sport while putting the health of athletes at risk."

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