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13.08.2004 Sports News

C'wealth to step up fight against drug abuse in sport

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Accra, Aug. 13, GNA - The Commonwealth Secretariat has resolved to provide developing countries with technical advisers to help the fight against drug abuse in sports.

The technocrats according to the London-based secretariat would operate along aside the World Anti Doping Agency staff in Africa, the Caribbean and the Pacific.

The Commonwealth Secretary-General, Don McKinnon said, "We know that some countries do not have the resources to play in the fight against drug abuse in sport without external assistance. These new advisers will be able to spread the message and pass on advice to those most in need of assistance."

Sports Ministers from the organisation's 53 member states meeting in Athens on Thursday on the eve of the Olympics issued an action plan to ensure that all Commonwealth countries can take part in the worldwide anti-doping campaign.

A news Release issued from the Commonwealth Secretariat copied to the GNA Sports said the Conference was also addressed by Dick Pound, head of the World Anti- Doping Agency, (WADA).

Mr Richard Caborn, the Chairman of the meeting and UK's Sports Minster, said, "We know that drug abuse is a cancer which has to be rooted out for the good of sports. Countries like the UK have valuable experience which we are only too happy to share with other Commonwealth nations."

One third of the Commonwealth countries that attended the conference are yet to sign up for the Copenhagen Declaration, which commits nations to implement WADA's tough anti-doping code.

The United Kingdom, one of the few countries with two WADA recognized doping laboratories has promised to help developing nations by passing on knowledge and best practice.

The Commonwealth minister's action plan also includes pledge to co-operate so that developing nations will get valuable help to enable them compete to stage international sporting events, either on their own, or jointly with other countries.

Those countries which have won major events such as Australia, Canada, India, Malaysia and the UK, will pass on their knowledge of how to successfully bid for championship and then stage them. The conference also committed the Commonwealth countries to promote participation by women in sports.

The ministers also endorsed the establishment of a Commonwealth Advisory Body on Sports (CABOS), following a presentation by the Secretary-General. This new group's remit will include the promotion of sport as a tool for economic and social development. 13 Aug 04

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