A monitoring visit on the Anti-Doping Convention of the Council of Europe to Poland

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A monitoring visit on the Anti-Doping Convention of the Council of Europe to Poland

On 30-31 March 2016, Poland hosted a monitoring visit held at the invitation of the Minister of Sport and Tourism pursuant to the provisions of the Anti-Doping Convention of the Council of Europe. The monitoring team was composed of Michael Petrou (Cyprus), Christina Friis Johansen (Denmark), Satu Heikkinen (Finland), Kornelija Tienesyte (Lithuania), Mehri Garafzada (Azerbaijan - Council of Europe) and Sergey Khrychikov (Ukraine - Council of Europe).

The Anti-Doping Convention of the Council of Europe entered into force with respect to Poland on 1 November 1990. The objective of the agreement is to reduce and gradually eradicate the phenomenon of doping in sport through integrated legal measures and harmonized international cooperation. To this end, the Convention imposes on the states-parties numerous obligations whose implementation is monitored.

The aim of the visit was to assess the Polish anti-doping system’s compliance with the provisions of the Convention. Therefore, the Council of Europe delegation composed of experts in the fight against doping in sport held a series of meetings in order to learn about the specifics of the Polish anti-doping system.

As part of their visit to Poland the delegation met, among others, with representatives of the Ministry of Sport and Tourism, the Ministry of Health, the Ministry of Internal Affairs and Administration, the Customs Service, the National Police Headquarters and the Chief Sanitary Inspectorate, as the public sector entities responsible, either directly or indirectly, for the fight against doping in sport. Also, on the first day of the visit the representatives of the Council of Europe met with the Commission Against Doping in Sport, with its doping control officers, the Therapeutic Use Exemptions Committee (TUE), representatives of disciplinary panels and bodies that rule on cases involving the use of doping in sport and representatives of Polish sports associations.

On the second day of the visit the team learnt on-site about the activities of the Institute of Sport – a National Research Institute and visited its Anti-Doping Research Department, one of the 34 laboratories accredited by the World Anti-Doping Agency (WADA). During their visit, the Council of Europe delegates also met with the authorities of the Polish Olympic Committee and representatives of the Polish Court of Arbitration for Sport operating under the auspices of the Polish Olympic Committee. The last part of the day included meetings with athletes and with members of the Parliamentary Committee on Physical Culture, Sport and Tourism.

Following the visit, a report will be drawn up which will contain the findings of the evaluation of our country’s anti-doping system, as well as recommendations for further action aimed at its optimization.