Yesterday, the World Anti-Doping Agency’s (WADA’s) Director General, Olivier Niggli, addressed a two-day conference in Athens, Greece, being held to commemorate the 30th anniversary of the Council of Europe’s Anti-Doping Convention (Convention).
This year marks three decades since the Convention was open for signature – a treaty that has now been ratified by all 47 Council of Europe member countries and several other states. Arriving 10 years before WADA was formed, the Convention helped to prepare the way for the Agency’s work by standardizing and harmonizing measures to tackle doping across all boundaries.
Olivier Niggli told the conference that while the success of the Convention and many other measures in protecting clean sport were clear, now was not the time for complacency.
“Without a doubt there is much more work to be done and improvements to be made,” he said. “The fight against doping is not static. It evolves every day and none of us should rest on our laurels. Together, the Council of Europe, Member States, WADA, UNESCO, the Sport Movement and all other players within the anti-doping community must go further by improving our methods, our rules, our science, our monitoring, our education programs, our investigative capabilities and much more.
“The input of governments, such as those represented at this important conference, is paramount to going further and making a difference. We need them as a crucial part of the team. The athletes make all of us proud every day through their hard efforts, their excellence and their dedication. They act as role models for the youth and make their nations’ flags fly on the world stage. We owe them our full commitment – to protect them and the sports they love.
“Over the years, WADA has been working very closely with the Council of Europe on a range of issues, including matters related to monitoring the compliance of anti-doping programs. This partnership has allowed for a crossover of important expertise, which benefits both organizations in increasing their respective efficiency while avoiding duplication of resources.
“On behalf of WADA, I wish to thank Europe for their commitment, their investment and their relentless efforts in protecting clean sport and society.”