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For Immediate Release
Office of the Press Secretary
February 7, 2008
Statement by the Press Secretary
On February 6, 2008, as a demonstration of his ongoing commitment to fighting the use of steroids and other performance-enhancing drugs in sports, the President transmitted the International Convention Against Doping in Sport to the United States Senate and urged its speedy ratification.
The convention, drafted under the auspices of the United Nations Educational, Scientific, and Cultural Organization (UNESCO) with significant United States Government involvement and support, aims to harmonize and coordinate the activities of governments in combating doping in sport. The convention addresses a variety of areas that are essential in promoting anti-doping controls, such as scientific and medical research, prevention and education activities, and regulations involving doping substances and methods.
The convention's principles are already reflected in U.S. law and policy, and United States policy is presently consistent with the convention. Ratifying the convention will solidify our Nation's place as a leader in the worldwide effort to rid athletics of cheating through chemistry. Presently, more than 70 nations have ratified the convention.
The convention exhorts state parties to take actions to promote anti-doping controls for international competition, including the Olympics and Pan American Games. Professional (major league) sports are not within the purview of the convention, though they should look to it as a guide as they seek to strengthen their polices against performance-enhancing drugs among their athletes. In the process of its development, potentially affected U.S. stakeholders were consulted by the Administration and provided input during the drafting stages.
The use of performance-enhancing drugs by elite athletes sets a dangerous example for millions of young Americans, encouraging young people to take grave risks with their health and safety. Sports play an important role in the physical and mental development of young people, and provides them with valuable lessons about teamwork, goal-setting, discipline, and the value of hard work. The use of steroids and other performance-enhancing drugs directly undermines these benefits.
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