A new era to keep competitive sport clean starts today with the official launch of Sport Integrity Australia.
Minister for Youth and Sport, Richard Colbeck, said Sport Integrity Australia would offer a clear and definitive approach to keep sport in Australia fair.
“This is another important step as we continue to drive reforms to stay ahead of the dopers, extortionists and cheats,” Minister Colbeck said.
“Australians love their sport but not the underhanded actions of those who seek to take advantage of it.
“The Federal Government’s decisive action will help reinforce the sector and offers assurance to athletes and fans.”
SIA will be led by former Australian Federal Police Assistant Commissioner and sport administrator David Sharpe.
Mr Sharpe will oversee the new body, bringing together the current functions of the Australian Sports Anti-Doping Authority (ASADA), the National Integrity of Sport Unit (NISU) in the Department of Health, and the nationally focused integrity functions of Sport Australia.
Sport integrity issues include:
- the manipulation of doses and timing of doses to avoid detection from sampling;
- an increased interest in corrupting sport by organised crime, particularly through match fixing;
- the manipulation of gambling markets;
- the rise of off-shore, illegal wagering service providers; and
- the threat of bullying, harassment and abuse of athletes.
“The opening of Sport Integrity Australia is the result of extensive community and stakeholder consultation and all Australians will benefit,” Minister Colbeck said.
“From today, sporting organisations and athletes will have access to a single source of assistance and guidance under one roof.
“Athletes will benefit from having greater access to education on sports integrity issues and knowing they have an ‘even playing field’.
“Australian sports fans will benefit from knowing the sports they follow are protected from cheats.
“And all taxpayers benefit knowing the Government’s investment of nearly $300 million each year in sport is safe from dopers and cheats.
The opening of Sports Integrity Australia is in addition to the passing of the Australian Sports Anti-Doping Authority Amendment (Enhancing Australia’s Anti-Doping Capability) Bill 2019 and the introduction of landmark reforms to Australian sport’s anti-doping rules.
“These major reforms will keep Australia at the forefront of efforts to keep competition clean, safe and out of the hands of criminals,” Minister Colbeck said.
Sports Integrity Australia was a recommendation of the Review of Australia’s Sports Integrity Arrangements, chaired by Mr James Wood AO QC and commissioned in 2017, as part of the development of the Australian Government’s National Sport Plan.