Belgian tennis star will spearhead UN efforts against doping in sports

Fresh from her most recent victory at the French Open, Belgian tennis star Justine Hénin-Hardenne was today enlisted to promote the fight against doping in sports by the United Nations Educational, Scientific and Cultural Organization (UNESCO), which appointed her one of its Champions for Sport. “With this appointment, the first of a woman UNESCO Champion for Sport, I am convinced that public attention and support for our campaign against doping in sport will be significantly bolstered,” Koïchiro Matsuura, Director-General of the agency, said in his announcement.Mr. Matsuura paid tribute to the number-three ranked player’s “strength of character and her commitment to excellence, fair-play and integrity. It is these attributes,” he continued, “and her ability to inspire young people that will help UNESCO to educate tomorrow’s athletes about ethics in sport and spread the anti-doping message.”A three-time winner of the French Open over four years, Justine Hénin-Hardenne has won 24 titles to date, including the US Open, the Australian Open and a Gold Medal in the 2004 Athens Olympic Games. She turned professional in 1999.She joins the ranks of other notable UNESCO Champions for Sport that include Ukrainian pole-vaulter Serhiy Bubka, French judo champion David Douillet, Russian ice hockey champion Vyacheslav Fetisov, and German Formula One champion Michael Schumacher. Brazilian footballer Edson Arantes do Nascimento, also known as King Pelé, has been UNESCO Goodwill Ambassador since 1994.

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