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Step up to the blocks, Minister.

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Senator Kate Lundy Senator for the Australian Capital Territory Shadow Minister for Information Technology and Sport


Step up to the blocks, Minister

Minister Kemp must uphold his Tough on Drugs in Sport Policy, and ensure that the Australian Sports Commission (ASC) takes actions against sports that do not comply to the National Sporting Organisations’ (NSOs) Anti-Doping Assessment Processes.

It has been revealed that the Minister was made aware that the ASC did not sanction or withhold funding to the sport of cycling, despite knowing that it had failed to comply.

In Senate Estimates last week, the ASC stated that its ability to withhold funding and force sports to comply was subject to its discretion and ‘professional judgement’. It also said that in its view there were no sports that did not comply.

Given that in Senate Estimates, ASC Chief Executive Mark Peters said, “…we are the final arbiters on actions against NSOs…”, the ASC is potentially undermining the importance of anti-doping processes, of which Australia is a world leader.

NSOs must be held accountable for their requirements under the anti-doping framework and, as the ASC is the only body that can force them to comply, for them not to act is in direct breach of the Government’s policy of ‘zero tolerance’.

Australia is reputed as having the world’s best anti-doping practices. The Labor Party established these high standards, and the Minister must ensure that these processes are maintained and that the Coalition’s own policy is adhered to.

3 June 2003 Media Contact: Adina Cirson 02 6277 3334 or 0418 488 295