Commonwealth Games Australia (CGA) welcomes the announcement of important Federal Government initiatives to further safeguard sport in Australia.
In responding to the Wood Review of Australia’s Sports Integrity Arrangements, the Australian Government has unveiled a series of reforms aiming to ensure Australia is a world leader in clean, safe and fair sport. (Link to the review available here)
The Government is establishing a new single national sports integrity agency – Sport Integrity Australia – to protect Australian sport. Sport Integrity Australia will bring together the Australian Sports Anti-Doping Authority (ASADA), the National Integrity of Sport Unit and the national sports integrity functions of Sport Australia.
A new National Sports Tribunal will hear anti-doping rule violation and other sports disputes, and resolve them consistently, cost-effectively and transparently. The Tribunal, to be piloted over two years, will have the power to call evidence to establish facts and ensure natural justice.
The reforms are designed to help safeguard the integrity of Australian sport, combating present, emerging and future threats from doping, match-fixing, illegal betting, organised crime and corruption, and ensure that all Australians can enjoy sports environments free of abuse, discrimination and harassment.
Minister for Sport, Senator the Hon Bridget McKenzie, said that the Government committed to making sure that sport in Australia continues to reflect the Australian values of fairness, equality and reward for hard work.
“We are reassuring the hundreds of thousands of Australians who are involved in sport at every level – from grassroots to elite – that they can be confident their sport is better protected from doping, drug use, match-fixing and criminal exploitation of athletes and events,” Minister McKenzie said.
CGA President Ben Houston thanked the Minister for her leadership and said Commonwealth Games Australia supports the consolidation of existing Federal Government functions in sports integrity under a new agency – Sport Integrity Australia – and the conduct of a two-year pilot of a new National Sports Tribunal.
The signing of the Macolin Convention (a Council of Europe Convention allows for information sharing by international sport agencies) is also an important step in the fight against match fixing and irregular betting on sport.
CGA President Ben Houston said the National Sports Tribunal will benefit Commonwealth Games member sports, many of whom struggle with the resourcing in this area.