When the 100m sprinter Ben Johnson was exposed as a cheat at the 1988 Seoul Olympics, he opened the way to the future success of the Council of Europe’s anti-doping convention.
Johnson’s infamy focussed attention on doping in sport and galvanised opinion in favour of greater controls. This led directly to the treaty which celebrates its 21st anniversary today after entering into force on 1 March 1990.
The anti-doping convention is now the international legal reference in the fight against doping. It has been ratified by 50 countries and adopted by non-member states such as Australia, Belarus, Canada, and Tunisia.
The Council of Europe sees doping as a hindrance to sports ethics and a threat to the health of athletes. Rather than create a uniform anti-doping model, the convention sets out common standards and regulations requiring parties to adopt legislative, financial, technical, educational and other measures.
In their constitutional provisions, each contracting party undertakes to:
- create a national co-coordinating body;
- reduce the trafficking of doping substances and the use of banned doping agents;
- reinforce doping controls and improve detection techniques;
- support education and awareness-raising programmes;
- guarantee the efficiency of sanctions taken against offenders;
- collaborate with sports organisations at all levels, including at international level;
- and to use accredited anti-doping laboratories
An Additional Protocol to the Convention entered into force on 1st April 2004 with the aim of ensuring the mutual recognition of anti-doping controls and of reinforcing the implementation of the Convention using a binding control system.
Webfile: The anti-doping convention - an instrument of international co-operation
Webfile: The fight against doping
Webfile: Doping is not playing the game