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Resolution on Ethical and Human Problems in Sport (78/3)

(Theme III)

The European Ministers of Sport, meeting in London,

Reaffirming their attachment to the principles set out in the European Sport for All Charter, and concerned to safeguard sport and sportsmen from exploitation of whatever kind;

Considering that modern sport is beset by a number of practices which are jeopardising the ethical basis of sport, and that these are no longer restricted to international competitive sport, but are beginning to affect sport at national, regional and club level;

Express their hope and confidence that the sports federations will overcome the problems facing them and offer their support in the quest for solutions;

Bearing in mind that the mental and physical health of their peoples is their common concern;

Resolve as follows:

On doping and health:

Considering that since the adoption by the Committee of Ministers of the Council of Europe of Resolution (67) 12 on the doping of athletes, the member states, their national sports organisations, as well as governments and sports organisations of non-member states, have made real but as yet insufficient efforts to solve the problems raised by the taking of illicit substances for the purpose of improving athletic performances;

Affirming that the continual and necessary search for better performances must not lead to a situation in which the ethical and human basis of sport is neglected:

1. condemn any measures designed to influence performances which are detrimental to the health of athletes or the ethics of sport, and any athletes who take such measures;

2. emphasise the importance they attach to the speedy implementation of effective methods for the detection of the consumption of illicit substances, particularly anabolic steroids and other tissue-developing agents such as testosterone, and to the banning of such substances;

3. invite their respective governments:

a. to co-ordinate the action of the Ministers responsible for Health and for Sport, to support the governing bodies of sport in these tasks, and to intensify the co-ordination of relevant international research at a European level;

b. to support the testing of athletes for illicit substances at and between events and also to support an international programme for monitoring the results of tests at suitable laboratories in each country, to which the responsible sports and medicine authorities have guaranteed access, subject to the usual rules of medical confidentiality;

c. to recommend regular health checks for sportsmen and progressively to provide the facilities for this;

d. to invite national sports organisations to intensify their efforts to preclude the taking of illicit substances and suggest the following measures which might be carried out at national level by each country's most appropriate sports organisation:

i. a publicity campaign directed at athletes on the dangers to health of doping, using for example the information contained in the background paper prepared for this conference;

ii. encouraging the maintenance of respect for the ethics and practice of sport;

iii. compiling and publishing, in agreement with international directives, accurate and detailed lists of stimulating agents and means of testing for them;

iv. instituting and supporting practical and regular doping tests;

v. working towards a stricter control of the issue of medical prescriptions involving potential doping agents;

vi. instituting stricter sanctions for athletes found using stimulants, which should be applied also to trainers, doctors or managers who have encouraged their use.

On professionalism and commercialism:

Desirous of preserving sport from excessive commercial exploitation;

Recalling the resolution on "Public Authorities and Sport for All" adopted at the Brussels Conference which stated that "the use of advertising is only acceptable as long as it is in the interests of sport and those who practise it and provided that sportsmen should in no circumstances become a vehicle for advertising";

Considering that neither professionalism nor semi-professionalism is to be condemned in itself, but that both have or can have a harmful effect on the ethical and human values of sport and may arouse feelings of frustration in sportsmen in their private lives;

Invite the Committee of Ministers of the Council of Europe to instruct the Committee for the Development of Sport to study and define in close co-operation with the non-governmental organisations concerned, the problems of professionalism and the role of advertising in sport to obviate consequences incompatible with human dignity and to draw up a code of ethics for commercial sponsorship;

On violence associated with sport:

Considering the serious problem of violence in and around sports grounds;

Bearing in mind the resolution of the congress on "Violence in Sport" held in Brussels on 7 and 8 September 1977;

Taking note of the document previously distributed by the Belgian Minister of Dutch Culture;

Considering the general desire to tackle this problem effectively without delay;

Recommend to the Committee of Ministers of the Council of Europe to instruct the CDDS to elaborate, in co-operation with the international sports federations and organisations, the necessary measures to banish violence from the world of sport;

Ask the Belgian Minister of Dutch Culture to carry out this decision in close liaison with the chairman of the CDDS in order to set up an appropriate structure within the Council of Europe.