AAG gives voice to sport integrity matters

  • Integrity Blog

Sport Integrity Australia is committed to learning from athletes’ experiences and knowledge and to giving athletes a voice when it comes to responding to integrity threats in sport.

As part of that commitment, the agency’s Athlete Advisory Group (AAG) met in Canberra last week, to help us safeguard the future of Australian sport for generations to come.

Sport Integrity Australia welcomed new AAG member, Paralympian Ella Sabljak, who is also a member of the World Anti-Doping Agency Athlete Council.

Ella, who captained Australia’s U25s women’s wheelchair basketball team (the Devils) to a World Championship silver medal and is a Commonwealth Games silver medallist, is currently the Education Manager at Paralympics Australia. 

With more than 15 years in elite sport (first wheelchair basketball, and now wheelchair rugby) at an international level, we are delighted to have Ella join the AAG.

Members discussed:

  • Anti-doping issues, including a proposed joint project with the Drug Free Sport New Zealand (DFSNZ) Athlete Committee. Which will feed into the 2027 World Anti-Doping Code review.
  • Members were also engaged by our Science and Medicine team, as part of the 2024 Prohibited List consultation process.

Sport Integrity Australia executives and visiting executives from Drug Free Sport New Zealand (DFSNZ) joined the group, to glean athletes’ views on the anticipated changes to the List.

Other issues discussed at their meeting included:

Some of the Athlete Advisory Group with members of our Sport Partnerships team. From left to right: Linda Muir, Ella Sabljak (AAG), Blake Gaudry (AAG),  Cassie Fien (AAG), Richard Nicholson, Damon Kelly (AAG), Petria Thomas.
Some of the Athlete Advisory Group with members of our Sport Partnerships team. From left to right: Linda Muir, Ella Sabljak (AAG), Blake Gaudry (AAG), Cassie Fien (AAG), Richard Nicholson, Damon Kelly (AAG), Petria Thomas.

The meeting heard suggestions about our education from the Athletics Australia Athlete Committee, as well as an AIS Supplement Steering Committee request, for a simple visual process for athletes to understand the testing procedure and what happens once a sample is taken.

“This meeting was invaluable when it comes to athlete engagement,” said Linda Muir, Director of Sport Partnerships.

“By engaging with athletes who truly understand their environment and the pressures of sport, we enhance our capabilities with informed strategic direction and the ability to shape education strategies through their insights.”

“Importantly, we always engage with the AAG when our work is in the planning or preliminary stages, so we genuinely seek their feedback as opposed to sharing a finished product just for them to note.”

Current members of the AAG include:

The AAG is due to meet again in August.

Related information