Council of Europe Secretary General, Thorbjørn Jagland, visited Anti-Doping Norway on 11 June.
Anti-Doping has been in the spotlight in Norway and internationally the past two years. In Norway, the debate has been linked to the cases of the Norwegian skiers Therese Johaug and Martin Johnsrud Sundby. Internationally, the world of anti-doping went through a turbulent time prior to the Winter Olympic Games in PyeonChang, South Korea.
The Council of Europe Monitoring Group of the Anti-Doping Convention has adopted the Recommendation “Ensuring the independence of hearing panels (bodies) and promoting fair trial in doping cases.”
The Secretary General says:
“This recommendation is key. It addresses for the first time the need for the States Parties to the Anti-Doping Convention to look into the anti-doping proceedings respect athletes’ right to a fair trial, by implementing operational independence of the hearing panel (body); independence in composition and impartiality of its members in light of the requirements of the European Convention on Human Rights on fair trial (Article 6); right of access to a hearing; right to effective defence and equality of arms; proportionality of sanctions and right to appeal.
We welcome International sports structures to adhere to the same principles. This work will require to be looked at together with our partners in the sports area: CAS, IOC and International Federations who are also currently working on those issues. Our recent MoU with UEFA signed on 30 May and our good dialogue with other international sporting organisations as FIFA set out new avenues for cooperation.
The issue of athletes’ human rights will also be at the centre of the 15th Council of Europe Conference of Ministers responsible for sport, Tbilisi, 16 October 2018.
We are also preparing the launch of HELP course for legal professionals on Human Rights in Sport to be launched in the Ministerial Conference in Tbilisi.“