Dáil Question No: 745

To ask the Minister for Transport, Tourism and Sport the measures being taken nationally and internationally to combat doping in sport; and if he will make a statement on the matter.

– Anthony Lawlor.

* For WRITTEN answer on Tuesday, 14th May, 2013.

Ref No: 22762/13

Answered by the Minister for Transport, Tourism and Sport Leo Varadkar


The Irish Sports Council administers the Irish Sport Anti-Doping Programme. The ultimate aim of the national programme is to ensure that there is no abuse of drugs in sport in Ireland.   The Council represents Ireland on the EU Expert Group on Anti-Doping which was set up to implement the EU Work Plan on Sport 2011-2014.

The new EU competence for sport, under the Lisbon Treaty, allows the EU and Member States the opportunity to work more closely together to address issues of common interest and to speak with one voice at international level, particularly in areas such as the fight against doping in sport.

Last week I attended a meeting of the WADA Foundation Board as one of three EU representatives on the board. The World Anti-Doping Agency (WADA) was established in 1999 as an international independent agency composed and funded equally by the sport movement and governments of the world. Its mission is to lead a collaborative worldwide campaign for doping-free sport.  WADA’s key activities include scientific research, education, development of anti-doping capacities, and monitoring of the World Anti-Doping Code – the document harmonising anti-doping policies in all sports and all countries.

While enormous strides have been made internationally in the fight against doping in sport, recent high profile international cases have shown that doping remains one of the major challenges facing the sport sector.  The fight against doping in sport is one of the priorities of the current Irish Presidency of the Council of the EU.  This will be the focus of a debate at the Council of EU Sport Ministers this week in Brussels which will be chaired by my colleague Minister of State Ring.