Coates sends Olympic sports a warning on WADA rules

10 May 2014

AOC: The President of the Australian Olympic Committee, John Coates, has sent a blunt warning to his member sports to be aware of the new WADA rules concerning coaches, trainers and support personnel who are involved in doping.

“The new WADA rules will catch athletes’ support personnel who may have previously been outside the jurisdiction” he said.  A speech at the AOC Annual General Meeting in Sydney today contained a reference to the ASADA investigation of support personnel as part of its NRL and AFL inquiries.

“The 2015 Code amendments support the increasing importance of investigations and use of intelligence in the fight against doping which has received quite some prominence here in Australia over the last eighteen months”.

“Most pleasingly, amendments to the Code have been included to better reach Athlete Support Personnel who are involved in doping.  We know that doping frequently involves coaches, trainers, or other Athlete Support Personnel and in many cases those Athlete Support Personnel were outside the jurisdiction of anti-doping authorities.”

The new WADA code effective from January 1 2015 increases the penalty for real cheats caught doping from two years to four but Coates placed more emphasis on the new provisions dealing with athletes’ support personnel.  

“No longer will they be untouchable, able to evade the anti-doping net, instead they will face the music. For some years now the international sports movement has been aware the athletes were not acting alone, the athletes entourage had to be involved.

Pleasingly, WADA has agreed.  Clearly it is not enough to just focus on the athletes, others need to be held accountable” Coates said.

He also pointed out the new anti-doping rule violation of “prohibited association”. A clear indication Coates does not want a repeat of the football club sagas amongst Olympic sports. 

Under the “prohibited association” rules athletes are in breach of the WADA code if they associate in a professional or sports-related capacity with Athlete Support Personnel who are “ineligible” on account of an anti-doping rule violation or because they have been convicted in a criminal, disciplinary or professional proceeding in relation for doping. 

In future Australian national sporting federations must require all Athlete Support Personnel to agree to be bound by anti-doping rules and to the results management authority of applicable Anti-Doping organisations such as the IOC, International Federations, WADA and ASADA.

2014 AGM - President's Address >