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New Zealand leads way on anti-doping convention

26 December 2005 Media Statement

New Zealand leads way on anti-doping convention

New Zealand is one of the first countries to become party to the UNESCO International Convention Against Doping in Sport, Sport and Recreation Minister Trevor Mallard announced today.

The Convention is an international agreement aimed at the prevention of doping in sport, with a view to its elimination. New Zealand formally became party to the UNESCO convention in Paris on the weekend.

"New Zealand should be proud of our efforts to combat drugs in sport and lead the world in this area. We were involved in the development of the Convention over the past two years, and by becoming one of the first nations in the world to accept it we signal our strong commitment to drugfree sport both nationally and internationally.

"The use of performance enhancing drugs has become progressively more prevalent around the world over the last twenty years, and with doping methods becoming more sophisticated, the use of these substances represents a significant challenge to our sporting community," Trevor Mallard said.

A central commitment of the Convention is for parties to adopt appropriate measures, at the national and international level, consistent with the principles of the World Anti-Doping Code; and to encourage and foster all forms of international cooperation aimed at protecting athletes and furthering the fight against doping in sport.

"New Zealand has long been recognised as a world leader in the fight against the use of performance enhancing drugs in sport. This Convention will help us to continue that work. We need to ensure that our athletes have the chance to perform in clean and fair conditions, where honesty, ethics, fairness, health, respect, and courage drive outstanding performances, not performance enhancing substances.

"New Zealand is already meeting the requirements of this new Convention, thanks to support from our national sports organisations for the World Anti-Doping Code and the work of our anti-doping agency Drug Free Sport New Zealand," Trevor Mallard said.

New Zealand was the third country to accept the convention after Sweden and Canada. UNESCO needs 30 countries to accept the Convention by 31 December in order for it to be in force for the Winter Olympics in Turin in February 2006.

ENDS

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