73 countries yesterday committed to the Code at the close of the the World Conference on Doping in Sport in Copenhagen. Take-up of the Code has a deadline – the first day of competition at the 2004 Olympics in Athens. And cycling features on this first day: the Olympics kicks off with a cycle road-race around Athens.

WADA’s World Anti-Doping Code is ratified

UK Minister for Sport, Richard Caborn, was one of the first to sign the Copenhagen Declaration on Anti-Doping in Sport, the vehicle through which governments will recognise and support the World Anti-Doping Code.

The Code will see the harmonisation of anti-doping activities and processes across different countries and different sports, creating one definitive set of anti-doping rules and regulations covering testing procedures, banned substances and disciplinary sanctions.

The world of cycling has welcomed the code but the UCI, at least, still has reservations (see the link below).

Richard Callicott, CEO of UK Sport, said: "As the UK’s national anti-doping organisation, we have continually stated that agreement on the Code would be the single most important step ever taken against the misuse of drugs in sport. The commitment shown to the Code at this conference by sport has been incredibly encouraging, highlighted by the fact that no organisations present opposed the Code. Governments, sports governing bodies, national anti-doping organisations and athletes have come together and agreed that the World Anti-Doping Code is the best way forward. The next stage is to continue this strong partnership approach to ensure its smooth implementation."

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