Henin-Hardenne high on UNESCO honour
Paris, Dec 15: Tennis player Justine Henin-Hardenne was named "UNESCO (United Nations Educational, Scientific and Cultural Organization) Champion for Sport" by the organization's Director-General Koichiro Matsuura on Thursday (December 14) at Roland Garros in Paris.
"It's a great honour and as I said, there are great victories on a tennis court but there are also great emotions outside of it.. This award means a lot to me, it represents a lot because people are not only concerned by my game but also by the values I can convey on a tennis court and also by my commitment to the fight against doping", she told reporters.
Her nomination comes as part of UNESCO's efforts to fight against doping, educate tomorrow's athletes in the ethics of sports, and consolidate essential links between education, prevention and human rights.
Her contribution will help promote the International Convention Against Doping in Sport, which should come into force soon.
"We should not burry our heads in the sand, we had doping cases in tennis, not so much but even one case is too much. There are, unfortunately, some disciplines in which doping is really present and today I can, maybe, speak about it more openly because it will be my job to fight against doping", she said.
Currently the WTA number one player, a three-time winner of the French Open in four years, Justine Henin-Hardenne has won 29 titles to date, including the U.S. Open, Australian Open and a Gold Medal in the 2004 Olympic Games in Athens.
Other UNESCO Champions for Sport include France's double Olympic judo champion David Douillet, German Formula One racer Michael Schumacher, Russian world pole-vaulting champion Sergei Bubka, Russian Olympic ice hockey champion Vyacheslav Fetisov and Russian boxing champions brothers Vitalyi and Vladimir Klitschko.
Mother Marjorie Note: *F* YOU Leo Clijsters and Matthew Cronin