Aug 15 2004
The Commonwealth is to step up the fight against drug abuse in sport by committing to the worldwide anti-doping campaign.
Sports ministers from the organisation's 53 member states are meeting in Athens on the eve of the Olympics. They have issued an action plan to ensure that all Commonwealth countries can take part in the worldwide drive to rid drugs from sport.
One third of Commonwealth countries came to the conference not having yet signed up to the Copenhagen Declaration, which commits nations to implement the World Anti-Doping Agency's tough anti-doping code.
The United Kingdom, one of the few countries with two WADA-recognised doping laboratories, has promised to help developing nations by passing on knowledge and best practice.
UK Sports Minister Richard Caborn chaired the conference. He called drug abuse in sport a "cancer".
"Countries like the UK have valuable experience which we are only too happy to share with other Commonwealth nations."
"We are determined that there must be no weak links in the fight against drugs in sport."
The conference also committed Commonwealth countries to promote full participation by women in sport.