International Convention against Doping in Sport

UNESCO is the United Nations’ lead agency for Physical Education and Sport (PES). Assistance and guidance services are provided for governments, NGOs, and experts to debate the evolving challenges of physical education and sport. The organization also assists and advises Member States wishing to elaborate or strengthen their training system in physical education. And it offers its expertise in the design and implementation of development programmes in the domain of sport.

In today’s highly competitive sporting environment, athletes and athlete support personnel are under increasing pressure to do whatever it takes to win. As a result, the use of performance enhancing substances and methods in sport is becoming more pervasive. This phenomenon is not limited to elite athletes; young people and amateur sports enthusiasts too are being drawn into doping. Doping jeopardizes the moral and ethical basis of sport and the health of those involved in it.

UNESCO is actively involved in the anti-doping fight because of its desire to preserve fair and equitable sport and to protect young people involved in sport.

The International Convention against Doping in Sport was adopted during the 19th General Conference of UNESCO in 2005 and entered into force on 1 February 2007. The Convention is now the second most ratified of all UNESCO treaties.

The Convention represents the first time that governments around the world have agreed to apply the force of international law to anti-doping. This is important because there are specific areas where only governments possess the means to take the fight against doping forward.

The Convention also helps to ensure the effectiveness of the World Anti-Doping Code (the Code). As the Code is a non-government document that applies only to members of sports organizations, the Convention provides the legal framework under which governments can address specific areas of the doping problem that are outside the domain of the sports movement. As such, the Convention helps to formalize global anti-doping rules, policies and guidelines in order to provide an honest and equitable playing environment for all athletes.

Estonia approved the Convention in 2007.