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Flagpost is a blog on current issues of interest to members of the Australian Parliament

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Federal Court upholds the legality of the “joint” AFL-ASADA investigation into Essendon

The ‘joint investigation’ by ASADA and the AFL into the potential use of prohibited substances was legal, the Federal Court decided. The 123 page judgment was handed down in September 2014, but has been appealed. Read more...

Who is bound by the World Anti-Doping Code?

The previous FlagPost in this series examined countries that have criminalised doping in sport. This FlagPost examines who is bound by the World Anti-Doping Code (Code), National Anti-Doping Scheme (NAD) and various anti-doping policies in Australia. Is it just athletes and coaches, or are other people, such as sports scientists, also bound?The legal basis for the enforcement of the Code in AustraliaThe Code operates as an agreement that is binding on its signatories, which includes various Olympic-movement and non-Olympic movement affiliated international sporting federations as well as Government-funded organisations such as ASADA.In Australia, the Code is adopted and implemented under the... Read more...

Where in the world is doping a crime? (doping in sports pt. 6)

In the previous FlagPost in this series we examined actions related to doping in sport that can also be prosecuted as crimes in Australia. Do other countries criminalise doping in sport, or is Australia unique in having criminal offences that apply to conduct associated with Anti-Doping Rule Violations (ADRVs)? The situation overseasIn Australia some actions related to doping in sports (e.g. trafficking, possession, use or administration of steroids) are also crimes under various Commonwealth, state or territory statutes. However, none of those laws are sports-specific but rather reflect a mixture of criminal, therapeutic goods or customs legislation that happen to cover conduct related to... Read more...

Is doping in sport a crime? (doping in sports pt. 5)

The previous FlagPost in this series explored the dual use of evidence in both sports tribunals and criminal proceedings.Whilst it is commonly understood that doping is prohibited in sport, is it also a criminal offence? This FlagPost examines the circumstances in which an Anti-Doping Rule Violation (ADRV) is also a crime in Australia and the sanctions imposed by the criminal justice system for those offences.  The Criminal Justice SystemUnlike a number of other countries, Australia does not have any sports-specific legislation creating criminal offences specifically relating to doping in sport. However, the Commonwealth, states and territories have all enacted legislation which criminalises... Read more...

The dual use of evidence in both sporting tribunals and criminal proceedings (doping in sports pt. 4)

The previous FlagPost in this series explored what happens once a possible Anti-Doping Rule Violation (ADRV) is detected, and the role of sporting tribunals in determining and sanctioning athletes or support personnel who are found to have committed an ADRV. As part of that process, ASADA (and also potentially Customs and the AFP) collect a variety of evidence. So when can evidence collected as part of an anti-doping investigation be used in criminal and civil proceedings and vice-versa?This FlagPost examines the long-standing tradition of the ‘dual use’ of evidence in both civil and criminal proceedings in Australia and the situation with regard to sporting tribunals and criminal proceeding... Read more...

Proving doping: the ADRV enforcement process and the role of sporting tribunals (doping in sports pt. 3)

The previous FlagPost in this series explored what constitutes doping under the World Anti-Doping Code (the WADC) and the standard of proof required to prove Anti-Doping Rule Violations (ADRVs).   This FlagPost examines what happens once a possible ADRV is detected, either through evidence collected as part of an investigation or as a result of an adverse analytical finding (the detection of the presence of a substance or the use of a method on the Prohibited List in a sample provided by an athlete). So how is an ADRV proved and prosecuted? For all Australian sports that have adopted the WADC, ADRVs are primarily prosecuted in a sporting tribunal, which is ad... Read more...

What is doping in sport? (doping in sports pt. 2)

The previous FlagPost in this series explored the reasons why particular substances and methods are included on the World Anti-Doping Code Prohibited List (the WADC Prohibited List) and hence banned in sport. This FlagPost examines the legal definition of ‘doping’ in sport provided by the World Anti-Doping Code (the Code).So what is doping? Since the turn of the 20th century the term ‘doping’ has referred to the practice of enhancing performance through artificial means, such as the use of foreign substances. However doping is not (and has not been for many years) confined to the return of a positive test result for substances or methods on the WADC Prohibited List. Doping includes a variety... Read more...

The Prohibited List (doping in sports pt.1)

The February 2012 Australian Crime Commission report into Organised Crime and Drugs in Sport has resulted in ongoing significant media attention and public interest in issues surrounding the supply, distribution and use of drugs in sport, and what might be done to combat doping in sports more generally. As recent incidents involving Essendon AFL and the Cronulla and Manly NRL football clubs demonstrate, there can be confusion about the nature of supplements or drugs, and whether they are banned in sport and/or are illegal and/or are regulated under other rules. This is especially true when it is the class of substances or methods that is prohibited under the World Anti-Doping Code (WADC) Pro... Read more...

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