Wed, Feb 07, 2007 - Page 18 News List

WADA looking for support in war on drug abuse in sport


The World Anti-Doping Agency (WADA) is counting on increased governmental backing, a revision of banned substances and more funding to fight the use of banned drugs in sport.

WADA vice chairman Jean-Francois Lamour, director-general David Howman and UNESCO director-general Koichiro Matsuura spoke on Monday at the opening of a conference of countries which have signed up to an international convention against doping.

The conference will be asked to approve any changes to this year's list of prohibited substances. Matsuura called it "vital" that a banned list "is universally accepted, so athletes and support personnel are fully informed."

During the three-day conference, delegates will also create a global monitoring fund to help eradicate doping.

Matsuura said governments around the world have a crucial role in providing a "much-needed framework to implement the world ant-doping code" and that uniform guidelines are needed "to ensure the seamless application of the convention."

Unanimously adopted by UNESCO's General Conference on Oct. 19, 2005, the anti-doping convention was ratified by member states and entered into force on Thursday.

Two-time Olympic fencing champion Lamour -- also France's sports minister -- hailed the progress made last year but said it is "necessary not to give up" and to pool "resources and initiatives."

FIFA's chief medical officer Jiri Dvorak, speaking on behalf of president Sepp Blatter, said soccer's governing body supports the fight against doping.

"Education and prevention has to start, not just at the high level, but at the grass roots, schools and villages," Dvorak said.

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