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Olympic athletes and officials must co-operate with ASADA

4 May 2013

TEAM: The Australian Olympic Committee (AOC) has introduced new rules forcing athletes and officials to truthfully answer all questions put to them by the doping authority, ASADA.  

Under the new policy, approved yesterday by the AOC Executive, athletes and officials must fully co-operate with ASADA even if to do so might tend to incriminate or expose them to a penalty.

“To be clear, failure to co-operate with and assist ASADA, in every way, can result in an athlete or official being ruled out of an Olympic Team,” said AOC President John Coates.

The AOC’s Anti Doping By- Law applies to athletes and officials who are members of a Shadow Olympic Team and, if selected, an Olympic Team.

Coates today called on member sporting federations and Australian State and Territory Institutes and Academies of Sport to strengthen their anti-doping policies and rules, “if they have not already done so, to cover the times outside these periods when the athletes and officials are their responsibility”.

The AOC Anti-Doping By-Law obligates athletes and officials to give information, produce documents and answer questions as required by ASADA.
For anyone in breach of the new By-Law the sanction to be applied will be determined by the AOC in its sole and absolute discretion.

“They may be ineligible for membership of or selection to any Team, or to receive funding from or to hold any position within the AOC for such period as determined by the AOC”.  

The AOC first pushed for a Sports Doping Ombudsman back in 2000 to compel athletes and other persons to give information, produce documents and answer questions. Since then Coates has regularly renewed calls for coercive powers. He recently told a Senate Inquiry in Canberra these powers are vital in the fight against drugs in sport. He told the Inquiry “of the thousands of tests annually, only 0.89% result in a meaningful ADRV” (Anti-Doping Rule Violation).

Coates will tell the AOC Annual General Meeting today that while ASADA’s focus is currently on the National Rugby League (NRL) and Australian Football League (AFL), it would be naïve to expect that there have not been Australian athletes and officials in Olympic sports who have, so far, fallen through the net because of ineffective testing.

AOC

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