World Conference on Doping in Sport

Johannesburg , 

Ladies and gentlemen,

I would like first and foremost to thank the South African authorities for their warm welcome and the excellent organisation of this critically-important World Conference.

Human rights, democracy and the rule of law are the essential values of the Council of Europe, the Organisation for which I am Deputy Secretary General and which
I am proud to represent here today. 

This is why the public authorities of Europe welcome the fact that the draft World Code has had added to it a clear and explicit statement of the need to organise the fight against doping in a manner consistent with human rights and the rule of law.

I should like in this context to extend my very warm and sincere thanks to the team which drafted the revised Code, for asking my esteemed friend Judge Jean-Paul Costa, former President of the Council of Europe's European Court of Human Rights, to scrutinise the revised Code with a view to ensuring that it is in line with these fundamental principles.

I am thus confident that the revised Code, as presented to us, offers every guarantee that the fight against doping will be organised without any concessions to offenders, while at the same time respecting athletes' rights and dignity and the principle of proportionality.

We are pleased that the process of revision of the Code has also given all members of WADA - public authorities and the sports world - a new opportunity to hear in depth each other's perspectives on the fight against doping, and where our respective focus lies. I am convinced that working together, as the new Code further promotes, is the most effective approach to combating this scourge.

I would like also to pay a special tribute to the role of CAHAMA, this unique body set up by the Council of Europe, in which all European States meet to co-ordinate their viewpoint to WADA. CAHAMA has worked intensively in the preparation of the revised Code, and I take this opportunity to thank its Chair, Andy Parkinson, for his excellent steering of this process. CAHAMA's reflections on the revised Code have also led it to develop a clear and common vision on the future of WADA as a monitoring of compliance and independent regulatory body. 

The Council of Europe and its member States will continue to play an active part in the proper implementation of the Code in the years to come, and in supporting the necessary complementary measures particularly as regards education on prevention.

We will continue also to work on the other sports topics which have been mentioned this morning by Minister Mbalula, and notably the fight against match-fixing and illegal betting. The Council of Europe is currently preparing an international convention on this topic, with the strong support of the I.O.C. and with increasing interest and participation from non-European countries.

Permit me to end with a heartfelt word of appreciation and thanks for President Fahey, whose commitment and leadership have been exemplary.

Thank you for your attention.