“The importance of the fight against doping continues to be highlighted by current events. For the integrity of sport, but also and above all for the health of our children and athletes”, underlined ITA Chair Dr Valérie Fourneyron at the beginning of her speech at the 7th session of the UNESCO Conference of Parties to the International Convention against Doping in Sport (COP7).
The event aimed at discussing the current threats to sports integrity to recalibrate and harmonize the existing policies and legal instruments. The ITA Chair and Director General Benjamin Cohen were invited to participate as guests of honour alongside the incoming WADA President Witold Banka, HRH Prince Abdul Aziz bin Turki Al-Faisal, IOC Special Envoy to UNESCO Guy Drut, President of the French Tennis Federation Bernard Guidicelli and other distinguished guests and state representatives. Next to presenting ITA and its recent activities, Valérie Fourneyron emphasized the need for collaboration in order to make true advances towards clean sport: “Only through cooperation between all actors can we improve the effectiveness of our daily efforts to reduce the gap between us and the cheaters who take advantage of our weaknesses to manipulate sports competitions.”
The COP7 also provided the ideal framework to establish a partnership between the ITA and UNESCO. Both organisations put their pledges to support the objectives of the Convention to paper by signing a Memorandum of Understanding (MoU). The MoU especially focuses on the synergies regarding education and prevention, the facilitation of anti-doping controls and international cooperation in this field, as well as the promotion of research on the topic.
This new partnership with UNESCO is an important step within ITA’s commitment to collaborate with public authorities who wish to join its work and work together closely with the international sports movement.