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Procedure : 2000/2056(COS)
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Document selected : A5-0203/2000

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Thursday, 7 September 2000 - Strasbourg
Community support plan to combat doping in sport

European Parliament resolution on the Commission communication to the Council, the European Parliament, the Economic and Social Committee and the Committee of the Regions on Community support plan to combat doping in sport (COM(1999) 643 - C5-0087/2000 - 2000/2056(COS) )

The European Parliament,

-  having regard to the Commission comunication (COM(1999) 643 - C5-0087/2000 ),

-  having regard to Article 152(1) of the EC Treaty,

-  having regard to Council Directive 94/33/EC of 22 June 1994 on the protection of young people at work(1) ,

-  having regard to Declaration No. 29 on sport, appended to the Amsterdam Treaty,

-  having regard to the Council of Europe Anti-Doping Convention adopted on 16 November 1989,

-  having regard to its Resolution of 13 June 1997 on the role of the European Union in the field of sport (2) ,

-  having regard to the opinion of the Committee of the Regions on the "European Model of Sport” (3) ,

-  having regard to the opinion of the Economic and Social Committee(4) ,

-  having regard to the Presidency conclusions of the Vienna Council of 11-12 December 1998 on doping in sport,

-  having regard to its Resolution of 17 December 1998 on urgent measures to be taken against doping in sport (5) ,

-  having regard to the conclusions of the European Union Conference on Sport in Olympia in May 1999,

-  having regard to the Report from the Commission to the European Council with a view to safeguarding current sports structures and maintaining the social function of sport within the Community framework - the Helsinki Report on Sport (COM(1999) 644 ),

-  having regard to Rule 47(1) of its Rules of Procedure,

-  having regard to the report of the Committee on Culture, Youth, Education, the Media and Sport and the opinion of the Committee on the Environment, Public Health and Consumer Policy (A5-0203/2000 ),

A.  whereas more than half of the citizens of the European Union participate in sporting activities on a regular basis and whereas almost two million teachers, instructors and voluntary workers spend their working or leisure time organising sporting activities,

B.  whereas, in addition to its economic significance, professional and amateur sport has an important educational and social function, fostering a spirit of friendship, solidarity, and fair play, and helping to overcome xenophobia and racism,

C.  whereas sportsmen and women set an example to many Europeans, especially the young,

D.  whereas the over-commercialisation of sport, overcrowding of the sporting calendar, and the growing physical and mental demands made of sportsmen and women, have led to ever-greater competitive pressure,

E.  whereas there is evidence not only that such pressure is damaging to sportsmen and women's health but also that this pressure causes an increase in the use of doping products,

F.  whereas the use of doping products by sportsmen and women contradicts the spirit of honesty, solidarity and fair play which should characterise sport,

G.  whereas the use or consumption of doping products by sportsmen and women can damage their health and cancel out the positive health benefits of participating in sport,

H.  whereas more and more of the time sportsmen and women are travelling and competing within the EU and outside their Member States,

I.  whereas most Member States have their own legislation to combat doping,

J.  whereas this is a supra-national problem, which cannot be overcome by states acting in isolation,

K.  whereas, while there is no legal base in the Treaty for Community action in the field of sport as such, a host of Community policies and instruments at European and national level can be mobilised in the fight against doping,

L.  whereas commercial sponsors also have an interest in avoiding doping,

M.  whereas the pharmaceutical industry cares about the health of sportsmen and women,

N.  whereas it should be acknowledged that not all doping is intentional and whereas it does not always necessarily enhance the performance of the sportsman or woman,

O.  whereas doping exists not only in professional sports and at professional level, but also in amateur sports and at amateur level,

P.  whereas one of the principles protected by the charter on human rights is that of defence, a principle based on the right to the presumption of innocence and to the principle of contradiction,

Q.  whereas a sportsman or woman must have the right to prove his or her innocence in the same way as he or she may in respect of any other punishable act inside or outside sport;

R.  whereas the protection and the confidentiality of data relating to the taking of samples and the conduct of disciplinary proceedings must be increased under Community law in order to protect sportsmen and women's honour and their right to privacy;

S.  whereas just as there is a very high level of protection for the work of children in employment, so too should the health of child and adolescent sportsmen and women be protected;

1.  Calls for the inclusion in the Treaty of a legal basis for Community action in the field of sport;

2.  Recalls that recent rulings by the European Court of Justice have confirmed that sport does have specific characteristics which allow special treatment in the application of EU law, making obvious the need for a legal basis for sport in the Treaty;

3.  Welcomes the Commission's Communication and the proposed action set out in it, but calls on it to analyse the causes of doping in different sports and at different levels;

4.  Urges the Commission and the Member States to give careful consideration to possible measures to combat doping in sport outlined by the European Group on Ethics;

5.  Calls on the multinationals associated with sport to reinvest a proportion of their profits in the fight against doping, in whichever ways they consider most appropriate;

6.  Calls on the Commission to urge the IOC to review the list of doping substances periodically, and at least once a year;

7.  Notes that the use of performance-enhancing drugs is not confined to professional sports but is also very common in amateur sports (e.g. fitness, bodybuilding, etc.), which makes the use of performance-enhancing drugs a public health problem, a new form of drug dependency and a serious threat to the ethics of sport;

8.  Urges the Commission, therefore, to give in-depth consideration to the problem of the use of performance-enhancing drugs as part of the new Public Health Action Programme;

9.  Calls on the Commission, within the Fifth Framework Programme, to intensify research into doping substances, detection methods, the impact of the use of doping substances on health, and the limits of natural hormones produced by the human body;

10.  Welcomes the Commission's plan to mobilise the European Union's education, vocational training and youth programmes to inform young people about the hazards of doping products, but urges the Commission to undertake with well-known athletes an information campaign based on setting good examples in all fields of sport;

11.  Calls on the Commission and the Member States to step up scientific research into the mechanisms underlying doping itself, with a view to taking preventive action against it;

12.  Takes the view that information policy, particularly in the media, should inform the general public about athletes" training programmes, and not simply the results of sports competitions, and should provide useful information about the adverse effects that the taking of performance-enhancing drugs may have on health;

13.  Welcomes the intention of the Directorate-General for Education and Culture to support an information and awareness-raising campaign about doping in sport;

14.  Notes that the production and distribution of performance-enhancing drugs has become an international business run by well-organised criminal networks;

15.  Welcomes the Commission's plan to use Community programmes to improve police and judicial cooperation between Member States;

16.  Urges the Commission to make full use of its powers under Article 12 of Council Directive 92/27/EEC to explore the feasibility of placing on the packaging of pharmaceutical products a standard "traffic-light" logo aimed at sportsmen and women and accompanied by the five Olympic rings, which would indicate at a glance whether a particular product would definitely/might/definitely not lead to a sportsman or woman testing positive in an anti-doping test;

17.  Calls on the Commission, using Article 152 of the Treaty, to strive for greater coordination of policies on doping in sport; and to put forward a proposal for a Council recommendation on prevention of doping in sport, especially amateur sport;

18.  Welcomes the provision under budget line B3-2020 of funding for pilot projects to assist campaigns to combat doping products in sport in Europe;

19.  Calls on the Commission, under Article 152 of the Treaty, to include in its information campaigns about the dangers of doping products information about the possible harmful effects of "nearly-doping products", as well as discouraging department stores, sports shops, gymnasia, etc. from selling these products;

20.  Calls on the Commission to put pressure on sports organisations to introduce "gender mainstreaming" and insist on the involvement of women in all decision-making processes and the anti-doping agency;

21.  Calls on the Commission and the Member States to urge the sporting organisations to give priority to the health of sportsmen and women when deciding the time of day at which sporting events take place, sporting calendars, length of competitions, etc.;

22.  Calls on the Commission and the Member States to urge the sporting federations to insist that sportsmen and women undergo a compulsory medical test before receiving the federation licence;

23.  Calls on the Commission to present as soon as possible a recommendation to the Council under Article 300 of the Treaty with a view to the European Community acceding to the Council of Europe Anti-Doping Convention;

24.  Supports the establishment of a World Anti-Doping Agency (WADA) based on the principles of independence, transparency and neutrality and calls on the EU Member States who participate in the Agency to act in a more coordinated and more decisive fashion;

25.  Calls on the Commission to present as soon as possible a proposal to Parliament and the Council with a view to formalising active and effective Community participation in the WADA;

26.  Calls on the Commission to press the WADA, together with the International Olympic Committee, to establish ISO standards in IOC-accredited laboratories and, in particular, to explore the merits of adoption of ISO standard 17025 and a harmonised procedure for collecting samples that also includes the standardisation of equipment, personnel and authorisation of the personnel responsible for collection;

27.  Calls on the Commission to press the WADA to give high priority to the protection of legal minors (and to consider who should be held responsible if they consume doping substances); to out-of-competition controls; to elaborating a single list of banned substances and methods for the EU and, if possible, worldwide;

28.  Calls on the Commission to press the WADA to consider carefully whether medicines for ailments such as the common cold should be on this list;

29.  Calls on the Commission to press the WADA to give high priority to establishing uniform and effective sanctions to be applied to sportsmen and women in any sport and any country who consume doping substances; and, bearing in mind that sporting clubs, associations and federations may also be involved in doping, to make these also subject to sanctions;

30.  Calls on the Commission to press the WADA to establish a harmonised disciplinary procedure that will safeguard the rights of athletes;

31.  Calls on the Commission to press the WADA to tackle the coordination of the various national systems, so as to avoid duplication and overlapping between monitoring by the public authorities, sports organisations and the Agency itself, both within and outside competitions; and to give special support and attention to countries which are unable to develop and apply a national anti-doping policy due to lack of resources;

32.  Calls on the Commission to submit regular reports on the work of the Agency and the results obtained;

33.  Calls on the Commission to convene by 1 April 2001, in conjunction with the Council of Europe, a conference to draft a code of good conduct in sport;

34.  Urges the Commission, in mobilising EU policies and instruments, to underline the message that participation in sport is not simply about winning or losing, but has health benefits for the individual and broader social benefits;

35.  Instructs its President to forward this resolution to to the Commission, the Council, the Economic and Social Committee, the Committee of the Regions and the governments of the Member States.

(1) OJ L 216, 20.8.1994, p. 12.
(2) OJ C 200, 30.6.1997, p. 252.
(3) Opinion of the Committee of the Regions 37/99 fin of 16.9.1999.
(4) CES 589/2000.
(5) OJ C 98, 9.4.1999, p. 291.

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