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AOC supports Sports Science and Sports Medicine principles

29 May 2013

AOC: The Australian Olympic Committee (AOC) has thrown its support behind the Sports Science and Sports Medicine principles announced today by the Australian Sports Commission (ASC) and the Australian Institute of Sport (AIS) saying “they will enhance the integrity of  sport in Australia”.

The AOC Director of Sport, Fiona de Jong, said “that if the highest professional standards apply to the sports, athletes and coaches then the same standards should apply to support personnel. That has not always been the case in the past and we welcome the ASC/AIS move”.

They have recommended sporting organisations ensure that all Sports Science & Sports Medicine (SSSM) staff be appropriately qualified, supervised and abide by the organisation’s anti-doping policy and code of conduct. They also suggest the establishment of an accreditation or regulation system for sports scientists.

“If the athletes and coaches are expected to abide by strict anti-doping rules and maintain high standards of behaviour then it is logical that those around them are bound by the same rules” de Jong said. “This is a step in the right direction for protecting the health and wellbeing of our talented athletes”.

The SSSM principles also include a recommendation that sporting organisations have a written policy for the use of supplements. And a panel which governs the use of supplements by their athletes. They recommend that athletes should not be permitted to obtain supplements from external sources, instead, the sporting organisations provide appropriate supplements to their athletes.

It is recommended that sporting organisations provide more education for their athletes, coaches and staff in relation to the use of supplements and prescription medications.

“These recommendations will help reduce the problems that some sports and athletes are experiencing at present” de Jong said. “It will also ensure a more professional approach especially if boards insist that full background checks are done on SSSM staff and only those who are appropriately qualified are employed”.

“We are particularly pleased that these principles include a requirement for board members, staff, athletes and coaches to all provide anti-doping declarations”.

In February this year the AOC introduced statutory declarations designed to ensure that no person involved with an Australian Olympic Team, or the AOC in general, had a history of doping in sport.   

The recommended medication policy includes protocols for the use of anti-inflammatory, pain relieving and sleep inducing medications. It says sporting organisations should have a written injection policy which prohibits athletes self injecting and prohibits individuals other than a medical practitioner administering injections to an athlete. 

Three weeks before the 2012 Olympic Games in London the AOC banned the use of hypnotic medications including Stilnox in a move to protect the health of their athletes.

The AOC introduced a “no needle” policy before the Sydney 2000 Games – a policy that has since been adopted by the IOC applicable for any athlete competing in an Olympic Games.

AOC