International Law

Council of Europe Convention – the first anti-doping regulation 

On 16 November 1989 the member states of the Council of Europe along with some other countries signed the Convention against Doping (hereafter the Council of Europe Convention). This has been in force in Switzerland since 1 January 1993. It is the first internationally binding anti-doping regulation.

Under article 1 of the Council of Europe Convention, “the contracting parties, with a view to the reduction and eventual elimination of doping in sport, undertake […] to take the steps necessary to apply the provisions of [the] Convention”.

Article 4 paragraph 1 of the Council of Europe Convention states that “the Parties shall adopt where appropriate legislation, regulations or administrative measures to restrict the availability […] as well as the use in sport of banned doping agents and doping methods and in particular anabolic steroids.”

Under Article 6 paragraph 1 of the Council of Europe Convention, the Parties undertake to implement … "educational programmes and information campaigns emphasising the dangers to health inherent in doping and its harm to the ethical values of sport.”

UNESCO Convention – the first global international treaty against doping in sport

On 19 October 2005 the General Conference of the United Nations Educational, Scientific and Cultural Organisation (UNESCO) concluded the International Convention against Doping in Sport (hereafter the UNESCO Convention), which came into force in Switzerland on 1 December 2008.

The UNESCO Convention is similar in scope and intention to the Council of Europe Convention. In particular, Article 4 paragraph 3 of the UNESCO Convention states that two of the international standards under the World Anti-Doping Programme (WADP) form an integral part of the Convention and are therefore binding for the Parties to the Convention.