We conduct investigations as part of our action to stop doping in sport.
As the national anti-doping body, we have the ability to investigate possible doping violations.
Our legislation allows us to investigate possible violations of anti-doping rules to determine whether there is evidence of an anti-doping rule violation as defined by the National Anti-Doping (NAD) scheme and the World Anti-Doping Code.
We examine all credible allegations or information about doping in sports with a relevant anti-doping policy. However, an allegation or information on its own is not enough to bring about an anti-doping rule violation under the NAD Scheme. To do this, we conduct an investigation to gather sufficient, reliable and admissible evidence to prove or disprove a possible breach of the NAD scheme or relevant anti-doping policy of a sport.
Our investigations are conducted in accordance with the Australian Government Investigations Standards 2011 which establishes the minimum standards for Australian Government agencies conducting investigations.
As a general principle we will not talk about ongoing investigations. We are focused on protecting the rights of athletes and support people. The Sport Integrity Act and NAD scheme have clear and tight controls to protect the privacy of people throughout an investigation.
Length of investigations
Investigations can take a long time and are subject to legal challenges.
The pace of the investigation can also be influenced by a range of factors:
- The complexity of the alleged behaviour.
- The level of assistance that we receive from individuals.
- Misinformation in the public domain.
- Requirement to begin new lines of inquiry as we receive information.
We have a duty of care to be both thorough and accurate in every step of the process.
After an investigation
After an investigation, we assess the evidence. This may lead to a hearing by one of the following:
- The National Sports Tribunal.
- The Independent Sport’s Tribunal, in cases where they do not sign up to the NST.
- The Court of Arbitration for Sport.
At various points the athlete or support person can:
- attend a hearing
- waive their right to a hearing
- appeal decisions made by these bodies.
Timeframes for the process can vary. Every case is unique. Factors, such as hearings and appeal periods, can influence the direction and length of a case.
Allegations of doping can affect the reputation and career of an athlete or support person. To protect their rights, we will not discuss the specifics of an ongoing case or investigation, unless a situation warrants it.
Ultimately, our investigations are about protecting athletes, as well as ensuring Australian sport is free of doping. We seek to protect the health of young people participating in sport. We act so that drug and substance experimentation does not become a normal activity in sport.
Disclosure Notices are key to enhancing to our intelligence-gathering and investigation capacity. When necessary the Sport Integrity Australia CEO will be able to require someone to assist with an investigation by issuing a Disclosure Notice).
This notice can require a person to do one, or more of the following:
- attend an interview to answer questions
- give information
- produce documents or things.
The Sport Integrity Australia CEO can only issue a disclosure notice if they reasonably believe the person has information, documents or things that may be relevant to the administration of the NAD scheme. To bring the NAD scheme in line with most sports anti-doping polices, persons subject to a notice will be unable to refuse to answer questions on the grounds they may incriminate themselves.