Play Clean, Play Fair, Play True: National Anti-Doping in Sport Awareness Raising and Commitment Campaign

In view of the increasing use of performance enhancing drugs in the sports community, UNESCO is deeply concerned about the erosion of ethics and fair play created by this practice among athletes and sports enthusiasts. UNESCO thus facilitated the development of the first global anti-doping legal instrument (the 2005 International Convention against Doping in Sport), which is preceded by the World Anti-Doping Agency’s Code on Anti-Doping in Sport. Since then, UNESCO has been actively promoting implementation of this legal instrument by supporting governments in developing and carrying out national anti-doping programmes.

The Philippines ratified the Anti-Doping in Sport Convention through an Executive Agreement on 08 February 2010. Since 2011, the Philippines, represented by Dr. Alejandro Pineda, Head of Philippine Sports Commission’s Doping Control Unit and Professor of Medicine at the University of Santo Tomas, has been participating in the annual session of the Conference of Parties (COP) of the Convention held at UNESCO Headquarters.  And as a State Party, the Philippines through Philippines NatCom submitted the proposal entitled “National Anti-Doping in Sport Awareness Raising and Commitment Campaign,” which the 2013 COP Session approved for implementation the next year.

National Athlete in Taekwondo,
Japoy Lizardo, supports the awareness
campaign on Anti-Doping in Sport.

On 29 April 2014, Philippines NatCom signed a Memorandum of Agreement with the Philippine Sports Commission (PSC), which launched an unprecedented national program on Anti-Doping in Sport. The program intends to: (1) promote, facilitate and aid in raising awareness and understanding of anti-doping in Philippines sports of among athletes, athlete support personnel and the youth; (2) update and cascade information (applicable rules and policies; and health and legal consequences resulting from use of prohibited substances and methodologies) on anti-doping in sport and everyday living to officials from national sports associations, their athletes, coaches, and their support personnel; (3) inculcate the values of clean, fair and true play in sports and promote a drug-free culture amongst the athletes and the young population at large; (4) contribute to the creation of a sporting environment conducive to healthy living and where play is fair and true by way of increased anti-doping awareness and good understanding by sports officials, athletes and their support staff (coaches, doctors, athletic trainers).

The program is comprised of four energizing campaign components.  The first component, involving the setting up of Anti-Doping in Sport outreach booths that featured advocacy materials such as information sheets and anti-doping quizzes in key national sporting events, was completed in 2014. These outreach booths were brought to the Sports Science Seminar Series held on 26 to 29 May 2014 at the Philsports Arena and the 2014 Batang Pinoy Final Competition held on 09 to 13 December 2014 held in Bacolod City. Secondly, a call for participation to National Youth Competitions—Essay Writing Contest for students aged 10 to 16 years old and Digital Poster Making Contest for youths aged 17 to 25 years old was made in November 2014. The contests will run up to March 2015. The third component involves the conduct of two Regional Anti-Doping in Sport Summits in Bacolod City (Visayas) and Tagum City (Mindanao) in February 2015. As a culminating activity, a National Anti-Doping in Sport Summit is scheduled to be organized during the first week of March 2015, in partnership with the UNESCO Southeast Asia Centre of Lifelong Learning for Sustainable Development (SEA-CLLSD) and possibly, with the Philippines Basketball Association (PBA), Manuel V. Pangilinan (MVP) Sports Foundation, and Smart Sports Foundation.

(L-R) Atty.  Gillermo Iroy, PSC Executive Director; Dr. Alejandro Pineda, PSC Anti-Doping Control Unit Head; Mr. Ricardo Garcia, PSC Chairman; Dr. Virginia Miralao, NatCom Secretary-General; Ms. Emmy Anne Yanga-Domingo, Programme Officer for SHS and CI sign the MoA on the National Anti-Doping Program.