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Thomson makes a dog's breakfast out of Australian sport

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Hon Stephen Martin MP -Federal Member for Cunningham Shadow Minister for Small Business and Customs Shadow Minister for Sport and Tourism 7 April 1998

T hom son M akes a

D o g ’s Breakfast O ut of A ustralian Sport

The Shadow Minister for Sport, the Hon Stephen Martin, today said that the resignation of John Coates, president of the Australian Olympic Committee (AOC), from the Board of the Australian Sports Commission (ASC) was nothing short of a disaster for anti ’ " " 1 ' ’’ rt.

“John Coates has played a central role in the development of Australia's international sporting profile and Australia’s policy on anti-doping. Mr Coates’ resignation will leave a gaping hole in the leadership of the ASC,” said Mr Martin.

“John Coates’ resignation comes just a fortnight after the sacking of Phil Coles from Australian Sports Drug Agency (ASDA). Mr Coles was sacked at the time when the International Olympic Committee (IOC) was actively working with the Summer and Winter International Federations to develop a single, unified Medical Code for the entire Olympic Movement. The objective of the Code was to allow uniformity in preventing and punishing doping.

“In September last year, the Minister purged the ASC Board and sacked the Chairman, Mr Fitzpatrick, along with Commissioners Dr Charlesworth, Mr de Castella, Ms Flintoff-King and Ms Schofield. The Minister’s politically motivated purge has already led to a loss in the corporate memory of the ASC.

“On 29 November 1996, the Prime Minister wrote a letter to all of his Ministers and Parliamentary Secretaries which detailed:

“...the role o f statutory authorities, their relationship to the government, the appropriateness o f existing tenure provisions and measures which should be taken when vacancies occur. ”

The Prime Minister’s thinly veiled message to purge all government appointments has been followed to the letter by the Minister for Sport.

“The Minister has made a dog’s breakfast of Australia’s sporting leadership,” said Mr Martin.

Contact: Cassandra Gelade 02 6277 4363 or 0411 691 495

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