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15 Nov 2007
IOC News

Rogge urges participants at World Doping Conference to do a lot and do it fast

The third World Conference on Doping that opened today in Madrid will be crucial in the fight against this plague. The delegates, representing athletes, sports organisations and governments, will fine-tune the revision of the existing World Anti-Doping Code which entered into force in 2004. The code is a tool to harmonise anti-doping policies, rules, and regulations within sports organisations and among the public authorities. IOC President Jacques Rogge addressed the participants during the Opening Ceremony and warned them: “Both partners of WADA, the governments and the sports movement, have to do a lot and have to do it fast”.
Number one priority   
In his speech, Rogge rated the fight against doping as the IOC's “number one priority”. “The IOC has been a leader in the fight against doping for more than 40 years. We established a Medical Commission in 1967. We developed the first list of prohibited drugs and worked out methods for their detection. We also established a system of sanctions. We accredited drug-testing laboratories”. He also referred to the IOC's achievement of creating WADA in 1999.
Zero tolerance policy
In response to the seriousness of the threat of doping, Rogge emphasised that the IOC will continue to stick to its “policy of zero tolerance” and explained: “We enforce this policy through a comprehensive programme of testing during each edition of the Olympic Games. Next year in Beijing, we plan to conduct 4,500 in- and out-of-competition tests. This is roughly 25 per cent more than were carried out during the 2004 Games in Athens. And 90 per cent more than the number of tests carried out in Sydney in 2000.”
New strong measures
Rogge added: “We have recently proposed a series of measures to strengthen our zero tolerance policy. These measures include the denial of participation in the next Olympic Games for athletes and their entourage who have been sanctioned for more than six months. We will impose automatic suspensions after a positive A sample, stronger financial penalties for National Olympic Committees and athletes and implement stricter interpretations related to Therapeutic Use Exemptions.”
Appeal to governments to sign UNESCO convention
In the presence of many government representatives, the IOC President underlined that “the impact of doping, of course, extends far beyond the boundaries of the Olympic Movement” and that “the collaboration among the sports community and the governments is necessary if we are to make a lasting difference”. He took the opportunity to urge all governments to assume their full responsibility by ratifying the UNESCO Convention. Rogge emphasised: " WADA will only have a full credibility when the governments and the Olympic Movement are compliant.”
Fair chances for role models
Concluding, the IOC President recalled what the fight against doping is for: “Let us tackle the challenges and opportunities we face with conviction and a unified voice. Above all, let us never lose sight of why we are here…To give athletes at all levels the fair chance they deserve. To create an environment that allows champions to shine as role models for children, parents and fans alike. To preserve the integrity - and the very future - of sport.”
Discurso íntegro del presidente del COI (Full text of the IOC President's speech in Spanish)
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