The first Council of Europe document dealing with sports was Resolution (67)12 on the doping of athletes, published in the year 1967.

It was adopted by the Committee of Ministers, following the death of a professional cyclist in the Tour de France.

Since then, doping has developed into a true scourge for many competitive sports, and jeopardises the health of millions of young athletes.

Doping is also cheating: It stands in the way of fair play, equal chances and loyal competition and damages the image of sport.
Anti-Doping Convention (CETS No. 135)

The Council of Europe’s Anti-Doping Convention entered into force in 1990 and has been ratified by all Council of Europe member states.

It lays down binding rules with a view to harmonising anti-doping regulations, in particular:

  • making it harder to obtain and use banned substances such as anabolic steroids
  • assisting the funding of anti-doping tests
  • establishing a link between the strict application of anti-doping rules and awarding subsidies to sports organisations or individual sportsmen and sportswomen
  • regular doping control procedures during and outside competitions, including in other countries

In addition, the Convention contains a reference list of banned substances, which is regularly updated.


Responsible for the monitoring of the obligations stipulated in the convention is a Monitoring Group, consisting of governmental experts and officials from anti-doping organisations as well as sports federations. The Monitoring Group is also responsible for the regular re-examination of the list of banned substances contained in the convention.

Monitoring Programme

In 1998, a special monitoring programme, aimed at studying how member States are implementing the convention, was launched. This programme includes the following mechanisms:

Annual reports: Each member state of the convention is asked to submit an annual report on the state of its national anti-doping policies and practices to the Monitoring Group via an on-line questionnaire.

Consultative visits: These country visits are organised in order to assist member states in the implementation of the convention.

Evaluation visits: During its visit, an evaluation team takes stock of the situation, discusses its findings with the country in question and then publishes a report. The evaluated country is asked to hand in a follow-up report on the progress made within two years after the visit. Both reports are published.

Auto-evaluations: Member states may decide to hand in auto-evaluations in order to give detailed information on their anti-doping activities. The Monitoring Group will examine the information and then publish its opinion.

Graphics: © Council of Europe