Coates applauds cycling review

14 January 2013

CYCLING: The President of the Australian Olympic Committee, John Coates, has applauded the findings of the Independent Review into Cycling Australia particularly the call to strengthen ASADA’s powers to compel witnesses to attend interviews and provide documents in regard to doping.

Coates congratulated the Honourable James Wood who conducted the Review and the Federal Government, particularly the Minister for Sport, Kate Lundy, for what he called “confronting the scourge of doping in sport”.

“I am particularly pleased there is finally a recommendation to extend ASADA’s powers to investigate doping practices to compel persons to attend interviews and provide documents. We’ve been arguing for this since 2001” he said.

Mr Wood says “the absence of such a power potentially limits the capacity of ASADA to investigate allegations or suspicions of anti-doping rule violations.“He is spot on” Coates said.

Mr Wood also supported the introduction of a Declaration Policy. In his report he said “Consistent with the approach that has been announced by the Australian Olympic Committee (AOC) and that has been adopted by some professional road teams, consideration is given to the introduction of a policy requiring certain staff, coaches, athletes and contractors to declare whether they have been involved in past doping activity. Recommendations are made for the adoption of such a policy.”

In November last year, Coates proposed that future members of the Australian Olympic Team would be required to sign a statutory declaration saying they have no doping history.

Mr Wood also recommends “sanctions for an athlete, coach or support staff person who refuses to cooperate with an ASADA investigation”.

“The AOC supports the recommendations especially the zero tolerance approach to doping and more anti-doping education not just in cycling but all sports”.

“The Federal Government and the Honourable James Wood are to be commended for producing what is the first real blueprint on anti-doping in this country” Coates said.   

“The report will not only benefit Cycling Australia but other national sporting organisations and umbrella groups involved in the fight against drugs in sport. It will also assist the AOC as we structure our declarations policy”.

“As Mr Wood highlights in his conclusion, you can win at the highest level without doping, there is no substitution for hard work” Coates said.

AOC

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