Paralympics Australia has welcomed the Federal Government’s important new steps to help ensure Australia is a world leader in clean, safe and fair sport.
Minister for Sport, Senator the Hon Bridget McKenzie has announced a range of reforms to further safeguard sport in Australia and help restore public faith and trust in the integrity of sport following recent issues including match fixing, doping and the use of illicit supplements.
The announcement is in response to the Wood Review of Australia’s Sports Integrity Arrangement. Under the proposed changes, the Australian Sports Anti-Doping Authority and the National Integrity of Sport Unit, and the national sport integrity functions of Sport Australia, will be housed within a new single national sports integrity agency, to be called Sport ¬Integrity Australia.
Paralympics Australia CEO Lynne Anderson said: “We know there are a range of ongoing threats posed to the integrity of sport, including match-fixing, results manipulation, illegal gambling, doping, corruption and unethical behavior. General member protection matters of discrimination, harassment, child protection and safety are also crucial issues for sport to address”.
“That’s why it is so important to have the appropriate safeguards to protect the integrity of sport and sports participants, and to have clear, consistent processes and bodies for dealing with these issues and complaints when they occur.
“Sport at all levels, from the community to high performance, needs to be safe, fair, inclusive and accessible and have integrity.,” Ms Anderson said.
“Without these things, sport can lose its relevance and meaning, and ultimately, support.”
“Paralympics Australia was consulted and contributed to the work of the Wood Review Panel. We look forward to working closely with the Government on this next stage, as the scope and responsibilities of Sport Integrity Australia and the National Sports Tribunal are developed”.
Anderson said Paralympics Australia agrees with the government that sports integrity is beyond the control of any single agency. Paralympics Australia also supports the concept of a new National Sports Tribunal, which is proposed to hear anti-doping rule violations and other sports disputes, and resolve them in a consistent, cost-effective and transparent manner. The Tribunal will be piloted over two years and have the power to call evidence to establish facts and ensure natural justice.
In another integrity protection measure, the Government also recently signed the Macolin Convention (the Council of Europe Convention on the Manipulation of Sports Competitions that allows for information sharing by international sport agencies) that will help the fight against match fixing and irregular betting on sport.
By Paralympics Australia