Education and athlete welfare the primary focus of new legislation

  • Media Statement

Incoming Sport Integrity Australia and current ASADA CEO David Sharpe welcomes the passing of anti-doping law reforms which will strengthen Australia’s capabilities to target facilitators. 

Mr Sharpe says the Australian Sports Anti-Doping Authority Amendment (Enhancing Australia’s Anti-Doping Capability) Bill 2019 represents “much more than additional powers”. 

“While the legislation will enable anti-doping agencies to target third party facilitators, the focus remains on education and strategies aimed at informing athletes and the community of the dangers of doping,” Mr Sharpe says. 

“Along with athlete welfare this remains our primary concern.” 

Mr Sharpe says the additional powers would also allow for greater flexibility around recommendations for lower level athletes who may not have been exposed to education programs. 

The ASADA Amendment Bills will expedite the participant’s opportunity to have a fair hearing and ensure that the ultimate decision as to whether a person has committed an Anti-Doping Rule Violation (ADRV) will be made by an independent and impartial decision maker. 

“The reforms are athlete-focused. They will streamline the administration of the ADRV process, allow discretion to recreational and lower level athletes, and ensure an impartial hearing via the National Sports Tribunal, if required.” 

The amendments will also help protect athletes by developing ASADA’s disclosure notice regime to allow ASADA to target facilitators of doping. 

Stage 1 will be completed on July 1 with opening of Sport Integrity Australia, bringing together the current functions of the Australian Sports Anti-Doping Authority (ASADA), the National Integrity of Sport Unit (NISU) in the Department of Health, and the nationally focused integrity functions of Sport Australia. 

Stage 2, to commence on 1 July, will see Sport Integrity Australia develop capabilities to implement the Government’s response to the Wood Review. It includes regulating sports wagering through the establishment of the Sports Wagering Scheme, enhancing match-fixing detection, implementing a suspicious activity alert system, the establishment of a strategic analysis unit, the establishment of a joint intelligence and investigative unit and establishing a whistleblower framework. 

Mr Sharpe says Sport Integrity Australia will work with sporting bodies and player representation groups to achieve the overall intent of the Government response to allow an informed and accurate understanding of the threats in sport.