2021 Amendment to Annex I of the International Convention against Doping in Sport
Minor treaty actions are generally technical amendments to existing treaties which do not impact significantly on the national interest. They are presented to the Committee with a short explanatory statement and are listed on the Committee’s website.
The Committee can choose to formally inquire into these treaty actions, or accept them without a formal inquiry and report. Once considered they are incorporated into a formal report of the Committee at the next opportunity.
The Committee has been asked to consider the 2021 Amendment to Annex I of the International Convention against Doping in Sport.
The proposed treaty action is an amendment to Annex I of the United Nations Educational, Scientific and Cultural Organization (UNESCO) International Convention against Doping in Sport (the Convention). Annex I (Prohibited List – International Standard) identifies the substances and methods prohibited in sport and is an integral part of the Convention.
The Convention entered into force on 1 February 2007 and aims to ‘harmonise anti-doping legislation, guidelines, regulations, and rules internationally in order to provide a fair and equitable playing environment for all athletes’.
Under the World Anti-Doping Code and since 2004, the World Anti-Doping Agency (WADA) has published an annually updated list of Prohibited Substances and Methods (the Prohibited List). The WADA consults widely on possible amendments and Australia contributes to the consultation process.
Under Article 34 of the Convention, WADA amendments to the Prohibited List must be approved by the Conference of Parties. From the date of the UNESCO Director-General’s notification of amendments, States Parties have 45 days to express their objection to the proposed amendment. Unless two thirds of States Parties express an objection, the proposed amendment is deemed to be approved by the Conference of Parties. Amendments approved by the Conference of Parties enter into force 45 days after the Director-General notifies the Conference of Parties that amendments have been approved.
If a State Party notifies the Director-General that it does not accept an amendment, the state remains bound by the Annexes as not amended.
The proposed treaty action
The proposed amendments to Annex I of the Convention would update the annex to reflect the 2022 Prohibited List, which was adopted by WADA on 14 September 2021.
The UNESCO Director-General notified States Parties of the proposed amendments to Annex I on 1 October 2021. The Explanatory Statement advised Australia did not intend to object to the amendments and the proposed amendments would enter into force for Australia on 1 January 2022.
Reasons to take the treaty action
According to the Explanatory Statement, harmonising the regulation of anti-doping arrangements across sports globally provides certainty and consistency for Australian athletes who are required to comply with WADA’s Prohibited List.
If a discrepancy came to exist between the Australian Government’s agreed Prohibited List (Annex I of the Convention) and WADA’s Prohibited List, Sport Integrity Australia stated it would be ‘restricted in its ability to implement its anti-doping regime in accordance with the requirements of the World Anti-Doping Code’.
The Explanatory Statement suggested the proposed treaty action would not impact significantly on the national interest and it would have negligible practical, legal or financial effect on Australia.
Compliance with the proposed amendment to Annex I of the Convention would not require legislative amendment as the existing legislative framework incorporates the Prohibited List, as adopted by WADA and in force at the time.
The Committee supports this minor treaty action and agreed that binding treaty action be taken.
Mr Dave Sharma MP
Chair 15 December 2021