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For Immediate Release
Office of the Press Secretary
August 4, 2008
Statement by the President
Today, I signed the instrument of ratification for the International Convention Against Doping in Sport adopted by the United Nations Educational, Scientific, and Cultural Organization on October 19, 2005.
This Convention is a valuable tool in protecting the integrity of international sport and the health of athletes. The Convention advances international cooperation on doping control matters and promotes a drug-free competitive environment for athletes. Ratification of the Convention represents the culmination of the longstanding efforts of the international community and the United States to jointly develop an equitable and harmonized approach to anti-doping control and enforcement measures in international competition. Importantly, the Convention highlights the vital role of youth education, comprehensive drug testing, and research in combating doping.
The timing of the United States' ratification, on the eve of the Beijing Olympic Games, is appropriate. Over the next several weeks, the world will be focused on the talent and dedication of the world's most accomplished athletes. The Convention makes clear that the use of performance enhancing drugs to gain a competitive advantage undercuts the positive attributes of sport.
I remain particularly concerned that doping sends to young people the message that performance is more important than character and health. As a result, my Administration has aggressively pursued education campaigns, research, and drug testing, as well as cooperation among public and private partners to encourage clean, fair, and healthy sport competition. These efforts have coincided with a significant decline in the number of young people using performance enhancing drugs.
The challenges posed by doping must also be addressed by international cooperation and collaboration. By ratifying the Convention, the United States is demonstrating its continued commitment and leadership in working with the international community to combat this public health issue.
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