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Brussels, 11 May 2009

EU Conference on Anti-Doping in Athens

Following a proposal from the European Parliament and with the support of the City of Athens the European Commission is organising an EU Conference on Anti-Doping. The Conference will take place in Athens on 13 to 15 May. Representatives of EU sport governmental authorities will meet with key stakeholders involved in the fight against doping, including national anti-doping organisations (NADOs) of the EU Member states, accredited laboratories in Member States, the Council of Europe, the World Anti-Doping Agency (WADA), athlete trade unions and sport academics. They will discuss topics where the EU can provide added value by complementing the action of other actors at International, European and national level.

The conference is part of the European Commission's contribution to the fight against doping, and follows the implementation of the so-called Pierre de Coubertin Action Plan which is contained in the Commission's 2007 White Paper on Sport (COM (2007) 391).

Three workshops have been designed to offer a framework for relevant, practice-based discussions on topics which are currently being debated widely at European and worldwide levels:

  • A workshop on Data Protection will deal with data protection issues in relation to relevant EU legislation and the recent discussions and developments in this area. The Commission hopes that the workshop will contribute to building bridges between anti-doping specialists and data protection specialists, as indeed compliance with the relevant rules is monitored by Member States’ national data protection authorities. This workshop will provide a first opportunity to discuss the implications of the decision by WADA on 9 May to adopt a revised International Standard for the Protection of Privacy (ISPP) to bring it into line with EU law.
  • A second workshop will deal with the need and possibilities for cooperation between anti-doping structures and the pharmaceutical industry. The topic will be introduced in the plenary session by the Government of France and the discussion will focus on the possibilities to extend this type of cooperation to the European level.
  • Laboratory Workshop: the third workshop will offer delegates from WADA-accredited laboratories located in the EU an opportunity to discuss issues of common interest. The Commission is happy to offer accredited laboratories and other interested delegates this opportunity for an exchange of information and opinions in an EU framework.

The conclusions of the conference will outline concrete outcomes in these areas. Journalists are invited to follow the opening session, which will take place on Wednesday 13 May at 17h00 in the presence of Mr Dimitris AVRAMOPOULOS, Minister of Health and Mr Giannis IOANNIDIS, the Greek Deputy Minister for Sport. That session will be followed by a press conference.

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