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ACC report

The Australian Crime Commission report Organised Crime and Drugs in Sport can be found at www.crimecommission.gov.au


Report doping confidentially

ASADA invites anyone who might have information that is possibly relevant to its investigations into doping in sport to confidentially contact ASADA.

ASADA’s Stamp Out Doping online form is available 24-hours a day, seven days a week for anyone to confidentially report suspicious doping activity.

Alternatively, suspicious doping activity can also be confidentially reported through the ASADA hotline:
13 000 ASADA (13 000 27232)

ASADA will treat any information it receives with the utmost care for privacy and anonymity, while at the same time thoroughly investigating any allegations regarding doping in sport. You are not required to provide contact details or identifying information. However, you may provide these if you would like ASADA to contact you.

 

Organised crime and drugs in sport

 

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Victorian Supreme Court subpoena ruling

12 December 2014

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The Australian Sports Anti-Doping Authority (ASADA) acknowledges today’s judgment by the Victorian Supreme Court to set aside the Australian Football League (AFL) and ASADA’s joint subpoena application.

ASADA notes the finding of the Victorian Supreme Court that the proceedings before the AFL Anti-Doping Tribunal are not properly characterised as arbitration proceedings.

ASADA's intention has always been to present the best evidence possible before the AFL Anti-Doping Tribunal.

Ideally, this would include firsthand testimony delivered in person by all witnesses.

ASADA has done everything within its power, including the bid to the Victorian Supreme Court, to get these witnesses physically before the tribunal.

Unfortunately, the AFL Anti-Doping Tribunal does not have the power to compel certain witnesses who do not wish to attend and give evidence in person.

On this basis, ASADA will tender to the tribunal written and recorded
evidence previously gathered from those witnesses.

ASADA is pleased these matters are now before the AFL Anti-Doping Tribunal and looks forward to presenting its case commencing next Monday.

The AFL Anti-Doping Tribunal hearing commences on 15 December and has been set down for a number of days over December and January.

 

 

ASADA media statements

 

ASADA responds to AFL Players’ Association’s demands

23 October 2014

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The Australian Sports Anti-Doping Authority (ASADA) today responded to the AFL Players’ Association’s demands for ASADA to expedite the process, including bringing the matter before the Anti-Doping Rule Violation Panel (ADRVP) within seven days.

ASADA Chief Executive Officer, Ben McDevitt, said ASADA will not be dictated to by the AFL Players’ Association, its lawyers, or anybody else.

‘In the six months I have been at ASADA I have had the club, the coach, the AFL Players’ Association, various other legal entities, plus other interested parties all voice their views as to the management of these matters.

‘While all claim to represent the interest of the players and/or Australian sport, the advice as to remedial actions varies dramatically.

‘In my role as protector of clean athletes in Australia, my advice to them is that if they want to act in the best interest of the players they should review the 12,000 pages of evidence and follow the due process.

‘I only wish that such interest in player welfare had been present in 2012,’ Mr McDevitt said.

ASADA has written to the players’ lawyer to remind him that the demands are inconsistent with the mandatory provisions of the National Anti-Doping scheme and as such, ASADA is unable to agree to them.

ASADA reminded the players’ lawyer that the ADRVP is a separate and independent body to ASADA and the CEO has no legal power to direct the function of the ADRVP or to dictate the timing of its consideration of cases.

ASADA also reminded the players’ lawyer that a number of their demands for fast-tracking the process were within the control of the AFL, and not ASADA. The CEO of ASADA does not have the power to direct the AFL to expedite anti-doping cases before its tribunal.

ASADA wishes to clarify comments made by various groups regarding ‘show cause’ notices and the provision of evidence to players.

Due to the Federal Court action by the Essendon Football Club and its coach, James Hird in June where they challenged the lawfulness of the evidence obtained by ASADA, it was appropriate for ASADA to delay the delivery of evidence in these matters until a judgment was handed down.

In the normal course of events, the comprehensive summary of evidence provided to players in the amended ‘show cause’ notices in October would have been available to players back in July.

ASADA is as keen as anyone to finalise these matters, but it will not risk the proper consideration of these serious matters for the sake of speed.

The period for players to respond to the amended ‘show cause’ notices ends on 27 October.


ASADA issues amended 'show cause' notices to AFL players

17 October 2014

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The Australian Sports Anti-Doping Authority (ASADA) today issued amended ‘show cause’ notices to 34 former and current Essendon football players for the use of a prohibited substance, Thymosin Beta 4, during the 2012 season.

The resumption of action against the players follows the Federal Court’s dismissal of the applications by the Essendon Football Club and James Hird on 19 September 2014.

Notwithstanding James Hird’s appeal of the Federal Court decision, ASADA has agreed to a formal request by the legal team for the bulk of the players to expedite the ‘show cause’ notice process.

Each amended notice is individually tailored and is approximately 350 pages in length (this totals about 12,000 pages for the 34 players). All notices include a comprehensive summary of the evidence in support of the case against each player.

By providing the detailed ‘show cause’ notices, it is ASADA’s intention to offer players every opportunity to respond to the allegations against them.

Players have ten days from receipt of the notices to lodge a submission for consideration by the independent Anti-Doping Rule Violation Panel (ADRVP). ASADA will consider any valid request by a player for additional time to lodge a submission.

It is ASADA’s expectation that the ADRVP will convene to consider each of the 34 matters in early November. Due to the complexity and volume of material this process may take longer than normal for appropriate deliberation.

The ADRVP’s decision on each of the matters will then be conveyed in writing to the CEO of ASADA, who will then notify the Australian Football League.

ASADA is unable to discuss the specifics of the ‘show cause’ notices while matters remain ongoing.

ASADA statement on WADA decision not to appeal

1 October 2014

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The Australian Sports Anti-Doping Authority (ASADA) welcomes the decision of the World Anti-Doping Agency (WADA) not to appeal the sanction imposed by the National Rugby League (NRL) on 12 current and former Cronulla Sharks players for doping violations.

The decision by WADA not to appeal supports ASADA’s position that the 12-month sanctions backdated to November 2013 are consistent and compliant with the provisions of the World Anti-Doping Code. ASADA and WADA engaged in regular communication throughout the investigation in this regard.

ASADA acknowledges the investigation into the NRL was protracted and there were delays not attributable to the players: this was reflected in the sanctions imposed. However, the investigation was not carried out in isolation. There were a number of factors that contributed to the delays, not least of which was the unprecedented level of complexity and scope of the investigation.

ASADA also acknowledges the important and valuable contribution of Justice Downes to this process; his advice and insight has proven most valuable in concluding both the NRL and AFL investigations, which have run concurrently since early 2012.

Matters involving the outstanding players remain ongoing and will follow the established process for managing possible anti-doping rule violations. ASADA has no further comment at this stage.

ASADA statement on Federal Court Judgement

19 September 2014

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Australian Sports Anti-Doping Authority (ASADA) welcomes the judgment delivered today by Justice Middleton in the matter of Essendon Football Club and James Albert Hird v The Chief Executive Officer of ASADA.

Today’s judgment vindicates Mr McDevitt’s strong belief that the Act always contemplated ASADA working with sports to uphold clean competition. The only way to stay ahead of sophisticated doping regimes is to partner with sports; not exclude them from the process.

Three months ago ASADA CEO Ben McDevitt put formal allegations of possible anti-doping rule violations to 34 current and former Essendon players. These players still have a case to answer under the World Anti-Doping Code and Australia's National Anti-Doping scheme.

Our aim has always been to expose what happened at Essendon in 2012 and we steadfastly remain committed to this.

ASADA has no further comment at this stage.

ASADA statement on NRL decision to suspend 12 players

23 August 2014

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The Australian Sports Anti-Doping Authority (ASADA) today acknowledged the decision of the National Rugby League (NRL) to suspend 12 current and former Cronulla Sharks players for doping violations.

The suspensions relate to ‘show cause’ notices issued by ASADA on 20 August 2014 for the use of prohibited substances, CJC-1295 and GHRP-6, between March and April 2011.

The suspension imposed on the players was backdated by the NRL to 23 November 2013 to take into account delays in the progress of the matter which were not attributable to the players.

The decision by the NRL to impose the suspension was done in accordance with the provisions contained in the NRL’s anti-doping policy.

ASADA Chief Executive Officer, Mr Ben McDevitt said today’s announcement is a good result for sport in that we have moved much closer towards a final resolution of these long outstanding matters.

‘Having a proven doping violation against these individuals is something that they will now carry with them for the rest of their lives.

‘Our aim has always been to find out what happened at Cronulla in 2011. After a thorough investigation and a review of the evidence by former Federal Court Judge, the Hon Garry Downes we have reached a Code compliant outcome.

‘Throughout this process I have been in constant personal contact with the World Anti-Doping Agency’s Director-General, David Howman and the architect of the World Anti-Doping Code.

‘I am confident that our handling of the process is fully compliant with the Code,’ Mr McDevitt said.

Response to media reports about Essendon sanction proposal

22 August 2014

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The Australian Sports Anti-Doping Authority (ASADA) responds to reporting in today’s media about a sanction proposal regarding Essendon players.

At no time has ASADA put forward a sanction proposal to Essendon players, or their legal representatives, linked to the timing of the Federal Court decision.

ASADA can also confirm that it has not ‘tabled’ a sanction proposal with the AFL chief executive regarding Essendon football players.

ASADA is unable to provide further comment while this matter is before the Federal Court.

ASADA issues 'show cause' notices to NRL players

20 August 2014

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The Australian Sports Anti-Doping Authority (ASADA) today commenced issuing ‘show cause’ notices to current and former players from the Cronulla-Sutherland Sharks Football Club.

A total of 17 ‘show cause’ notices are to be issued in accordance with the ASADA Chief Executive Officer’s (CEO) responsibilities under the ASADA Act and relate to the use of prohibited substances, CJC-1295 and GHRP-6, during the 2011 season.

The decision to issue ‘show cause’ notices by ASADA CEO, Ben McDevitt is based on evidence collected during the 16 month investigation.
Prior to issuing the ‘show cause’ notices the evidence was reviewed by former Federal Court Judge the Hon. Garry Downes and ASADA senior legal counsel. Based on his assessment of the evidence, the ASADA CEO has reached the conclusion that the players have a case to answer under the World Anti-Doping Code.

Once the ASADA CEO reaches a conclusion that a possible violation has occurred, it is his duty under legislation to put formal allegations to players and invite them to respond.

Players have ten days to lodge a submission in response to the ‘show cause’ notices. This information along with the evidence collected by ASADA will be put to the independent Anti-Doping Rule Violation Panel (the Panel) for consideration.

In the event the Panel enters a player onto the Register of Findings, the player will be offered an opportunity to have their matter heard before the NRL’s Anti-Doping Tribunal.

Should a matter proceed to the NRL’s Anti-Doping Tribunal, it will be responsible for assessing the evidence and player submissions before delivering a judgment.

Rights of appeal are offered to parties under the World Anti-Doping Code.

In the event a player waives their right to a hearing, the NRL will decide the appropriate sanction in accordance with its anti-doping policy.

The World Anti-Doping Code’s Prohibited List categorises CJC-1295 and GHRP-6 under S2 ‘Peptide Hormones, Growth Factors and Related Substances’. Anyone considering the use of these substances should be aware that they may result in potentially serious health consequences. GHRP-6 is not approved for human use in Australia.

ASADA is unable to discuss the specifics of the ‘show cause’ notices while matters remain ongoing.

ASADA Media Statement: Federal Court

27 June 2014

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The Australian Sports Anti-Doping Authority (ASADA) welcomes today’s decision by the Federal Court to set a hearing date of 11 August.

ASADA Chief Executive Officer, Ben McDevitt said he also welcomes the judge’s decision to dismiss the injunction application lodged by the Essendon Football Club.

‘The dismissal of the injunction application ensures ASADA’s statutory functions are not subject to judicial restraint and ASADA welcomes this outcome.

‘At this point in time, I have no intention of taking any further action in relation to these particular matters prior to a decision by the trial judge.

‘ASADA looks forward to the opportunity of presenting its case to the Federal Court in August,’ said Mr McDevitt.

ASADA response to Essendon Football Club’s proposed undertakings

23 June 2014

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The Australian Sports Anti-Doping Authority (ASADA) today responded to undertakings sought by the Essendon Football Club on Friday afternoon, 20 June 2014.

ASADA granted a further extension of time for each of the 34 AFL players to respond to show cause notices.

ASADA also confirmed that it had not provided any material to the independent Anti-Doping Rule Violation Panel regarding the 34 AFL players and would not do so without seven days further written notice to the players.

Essendon Football Club’s lawyers (Maurice Blackburn Lawyers) were notified early this morning of the extension. A short time after this notice was given to Maurice Blackburn, and without any further conferral with ASADA, ASADA became aware of Essendon’s application for an urgent injunction via a tweet from a principal at Maurice Blackburn.

Through its proposed undertakings, the Essendon Football Club was asking ASADA to stall its investigations and completely prevent the Authority from disclosing information in accordance with the Act.

To agree to the undertaking would have stopped ASADA performing its statutory functions until the conclusion of the Federal Court case and resulted in further delays.

The extension granted by ASADA today was a genuine attempt to seek a compromise to the undertakings sought by the Essendon Football Club and an effort to expedite matters.

ASADA believes the decision by Essendon to lodge an application for an urgent injunction is premature, given the further extension provided by ASADA today.

 
ASADA issues show cause notices to AFL players

13 June 2014

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The Australian Sports Anti-Doping Authority (ASADA) has put formal allegations of possible anti-doping rule violations to 34 current and former players from the Australian Football League (AFL).

Show cause notices were issued in accordance with the ASADA Chief Executive Officer’s responsibilities under the ASADA Act and relate to the use of a prohibited substance during the 2012 season.

ASADA Chief Executive Officer, Ben McDevitt, said his decision to issue show cause notices is based on a considerable body of evidence collected throughout the 16 month investigation.

‘Following the conclusion of joint interviews with the AFL in mid-2013, ASADA continued to accumulate evidence to establish a possible violation.

‘The investigation of these matters was a significant exercise in determining whether, under the National Anti-Doping scheme or relevant anti-doping policy of a sport, possible anti-doping rule violations had been committed.

‘Based on the advice of our legal counsel and a review of the evidence by the Hon. Garry Downes, I have reached the conclusion that these players have a case to answer under the World Anti-Doping Code.

‘When I have reached a conclusion that a possible violation has occurred, it is incumbent on me under legislation to put formal allegations to athletes and invite them to respond,’ said Mr McDevitt.

Athletes have ten days to lodge a submission in response to the show cause notices. This information along with the evidence collected by ASADA will be put to the independent Anti-Doping Rule Violation Panel for consideration.

‘Our priority is to ensure that Australian sport is clean and the health of athletes is protected.

‘As Australia’s national anti-doping organisation, we owe it to every Australian athlete that any possible instance of doping is examined. We want athletes to feel confident when they take to the arena that they are competing on a level playing field,’ Mr McDevitt said.

The Australian Government entrusts ASADA to do its job without fear or favour. This ensures Australia meets its global obligations under the United Nations Educational, Scientific and Cultural Organization (UNESCO) International Convention against Doping in Sport.

As matters remain ongoing, ASADA is unable to discuss the specifics surrounding the show cause notices.

 

Operation Cobia investigation

Response to The Australian article ‘ASADA ready with lifetime sport bans’

19 September 2013

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ASADA is aware of a media report speculating on the issuing of infraction notices in the AFL. ASADA’s complex and wide-ranging investigation is ongoing as was outlined in its statement of 2 August 2013.

It is important to note that under its legislation ASADA is unable to provide specific comments on individual investigations. This is to protect the integrity of the investigation as well as individuals.

Should ASADA form the view at the conclusion of its investigation that a person may have committed an anti-doping rule violation ASADA will follow its established process.

The process is available on the ASADA website.

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Statement from the Australian Sports Anti-Doping Authority NRL announcement of 29 August 2013

29 August 2013

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ASADA is aware of the NRL statement.

When and what we can say about an individual athlete is strictly governed by our legislation.

Under its legislation ASADA is unable to provide further comment at this time. This is to protect the integrity of the investigation as well as any individuals. This is particularly important prior to the conclusion of any hearings and penalties.

Generally speaking, ASADA’s complex and wide-ranging investigation is ongoing and we would encourage any individual with information about doping in sport to contact ASADA through its Hotline on 13 000 27232, or website <www.asada.gov.au>. Both are completely confidential.

Where an athlete, support person or other person acknowledges their mistakes and is willing to bring further anti-doping rule violations to light by other people ‘substantial assistance’ is available under the World Anti-Doping Code. Each case must be considered on its merits.

ASADA is willing to consider this for people who make a stand against doping in sport.

The earlier in the investigation a person cooperates and provides useful information that amounts to substantial assistance, the greater the discount they are likely to receive.

Further information on substantial assistance is available below.

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ASADA PROVIDES INTERIM REPORT TO AFL

2 August 2013

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ASADA today said it has provided the AFL with an interim report, in accordance with its legislative provisions, on its investigation into the possible use of banned substances at the Essendon Football Club.

ASADA Chief Executive Officer, Aurora Andruska, said the investigation to date has been thorough and robust.

“As a result of the cooperation provided by the AFL and Essendon, the ASADA investigation has made considerable progress.

“However, it is a complex investigation and is ongoing. It is essential for the integrity of sport that ASADA comprehensively analyses the information it has now obtained. ASADA’s enhanced powers, which came into effect on 1 August 2013, are now available to be used to ensure all possible anti-doping rule violations are fully investigated, and to finalise these matters as quickly and efficiently as possible.

“As a result, ASADA will not be providing any further comment on the investigation. This ensures the investigation’s integrity as well as protecting the privacy and rights of any affected individuals. ASADA has a duty of care to be both thorough and accurate in every step of the process,” Ms Andruska said.

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MEDIA STATEMENT:
Interviews in the National Rugby League

22 July 2013

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Following discussions with the NRL, ASADA confirms it will recommence interviews with a number of players and personnel.

ASADA acknowledges the cooperation of the NRL with the investigation, and welcomes their ongoing participation in the interviews.

The interviews represent the next phase of ASADA’s formal investigation which commenced on the release of the Australian Crime Commission’s Organised Crime and Drugs in Sport report, and has since encompassed over 150 interviews and review of more than 55,000 documents.

ASADA understands that the public wants the investigations to be completed as soon as possible. However, due to the complexity of the matters being investigated it cannot provide a timeframe on when this investigation will be concluded.

Investigations are often a lengthy process and ASADA has a duty of care to be both thorough and accurate at every step. It is important that investigations run their course, in part to ensure that all the available information is gathered, but also to ensure that the rights of the players and support personnel are protected. Active co-operation from the NRL and players will of course ensure the investigation can be completed as quickly and efficiently as possible.

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Statement from the Australian Sports Anti-Doping Authority
Investigation into doping in sport

20 March 2013

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The Australian Sports Anti-Doping Authority (ASADA) is aware of the statement issued today by the NRL Chief Executive, Mr David Smith in relation to the progress of ASADA’s investigation into doping in sport.

ASADA supports the comments attributed to ASADA in the NRL statement.

Since late January ASADA has been working closely with the NRL in relation to the issues raised by the Australian Crime Commission’s (ACC) report.

ASADA welcomes the ongoing commitment provided by the NRL to fully cooperate with its investigation.

ASADA is unable to talk publicly about the specifics of its investigation until such time as its legislation permits. This ensures the integrity of the investigation and the privacy of any individual under investigation is protected.

The investigation is both complex and wide-ranging and will take months to complete. It is important to remember that in all potential doping cases it is the athlete’s reputation and sometimes career that is at stake. Therefore, ASADA has a duty of care to be both thorough and accurate in every step of the process.

Previous statements issued by ASADA are available below.

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Statement from the Australian Sports Anti-Doping Authority
Investigation into doping in sport

20 February 2013

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The Australian Sports Anti-Doping Authority (ASADA) today met with players and support personnel from the Essendon Football Club to discuss its investigation processes and the rights players are entitled to under the World Anti-Doping Code (the Code).

For weeks ASADA has been working closely with the two major sporting codes in relation to the issues raised by the Australian Crime Commission’s (ACC) report.

An offer to explain the investigation process and the operation of the Code was made by ASADA to the two major sporting codes. This offer has already seen ASADA address players and support personnel from a number of clubs in both codes.

ASADA’s investigation following the ACC report will be in accordance with the requirements of the Code, noting the strict liability principle, no fault or negligence and substantial assistance provisions within the Code.

ASADA welcomes the ongoing commitment provided by the two major sporting codes to fully cooperate with its investigation.

ASADA is unable to talk publicly about the specifics of its investigation until such time as its legislation permits.

This ensures the integrity of the investigation and the privacy of any individual under investigation is protected.

The investigation is both complex and wide-ranging and will take many months to complete.

Previous statements issued by ASADA are available below.

 

Media Note:

Information about the strict liability principle can be found under Article 2.2.1 of the World Anti-Doping Code. Information about the no fault or negligence and substantial assistance provisions can be found under Article 10.5 of the World Anti-Doping Code.

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Statement from the Australian Sports Anti-Doping Authority
Investigation into doping in sport

14 February 2013

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In response to the very serious matters raised by the Australian Crime Commission’s (ACC) report, Organised Crime and Drugs in Sport, the Australian Sports Anti-Doping Authority (ASADA) confirms that the scope and magnitude of its investigation is unprecedented.

ASADA anticipates interviewing about 150 players, support staff and administrators from two major sporting codes based on current information. The number of interviews may grow if the investigation uncovers new lines of inquiry.

The investigation is both complex and wide-ranging and will take many months to complete.

Until such time as ASADA concludes its investigation it is not in a position to elaborate on the extent of the issue.

ASADA is unable to talk publicly about its investigation and that includes speculating about, or naming clubs or individuals until such time as its legislation permits. This ensures the integrity of the investigation and the privacy of any individual under investigation is protected.

ASADA welcomes the ongoing commitment expressed by the sports to fully cooperate with its investigation.

ASADA commends the ACC for the work it has done to shed light on the vulnerabilities faced by Australian sports, including the use of Performance and Image Enhancing Drugs.

Previous statements issued by ASADA are available below.

 

Media Note:

The number of interviews being conducted by ASADA is in no way related to the number of
possible anti-doping rule violations. To ensure ASADA conducts a thorough investigation it must speak
to a range of people from the sports identified in the ACC report.

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Statement from the Australian Sports Anti-Doping Authority
Investigation into doping in sport

11 February 2013

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The Australian Sports Anti-Doping Authority (ASADA) is aware of the Australian Crime Commission’s (ACC) statement today granting permission to the Australian Football League (AFL) and National Rugby League (NRL) to confidentially notify the specific clubs that were identified in Project Aperio.

ASADA can confirm that it has met with the two major sporting codes following the commencement of its formal investigation in late January 2013.

During the course of ASADA’s investigation, it will approach individual clubs as required to complete its investigative work.

However, ASADA urges any individual or club with information about doping in sport to contact it through its Hotline on 13 000 27232, or website www.asada.gov.au.

Both are completely confidential.

ASADA is not able to talk publicly about its investigation of these codes and that includes speculating about, or naming clubs or individuals until such time as its legislation permits.

This ensures the integrity of the investigation and the privacy of any individual under investigation is protected.

 

Media Note:

ASADA’s formal investigation commenced after the conclusion of the ACC investigation. ASADA’s initial involvement started some 18 months ago when intelligence about the use of peptides and hormones in sport and possible criminal links were referred to the ACC.

 
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Media statement:
Sports pledge to work together welcomed

10 February 2013

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The Australian Sports Anti-Doping Authority (ASADA) has today welcomed the pledge given by sporting organisations to work with ASADA to protect the integrity of their sport.

ASADA Chief Executive Officer, Aurora Andruska PSM said she was pleased with the outcome of several meetings held with sports over the past week, where they have consistently expressed their commitment to fully cooperate with ASADA.

“A common theme shared at these meetings has been a genuine concern for the welfare of athletes and support people following the recent release of the Australian Crime Commission’s (ACC) Organised Crime and Drugs in Sport report,” said Ms Andruska.

“The report findings were disturbing, and they should act as a wake-up call for all sports. While the ACC’s report does focus on two sports, the clear message is there are vulnerabilities across the sport system and these vulnerabilities could be exploited if we don’t all take action now.

“Thankfully, what we do know is that there are thousands of Australian athletes and support people who fall under a World Anti-Doping Code compliant policy and the vast majority are doing the right thing.

“They train hard and compete fair. They should be applauded for not taking shortcuts, even when they might suspect that their fellow competitors are cheating.

“Until ASADA completes its investigation it is difficult to say how many people are involved.

“However, we believe the percentage of athletes and support people using and administering the new generation of prohibited substances is small when compared to those making the right choice.

“In Australia we have a great culture of fair competition, but we would be fooling ourselves to think there are not dark elements in sport that push the boundaries too far.

"The use of substances on athletes that are not approved for humans is a major health risk that we should be really concerned about.

“Australians should have confidence in ASADA’s work. With more than two decades at the forefront of global anti-doping efforts, ASADA continues to lead the way,” said Ms Andruska.

In 2006, Australia was the first country to introduce intelligence and investigations into an anti-doping detection program. ASADA has since shared its experience and knowledge with anti-doping organisations in Europe, Asia, the Middle East, Africa and the Americas.

In Australia, ASADA works cooperatively with the Australian Customs and Border Protection Service, the Therapeutic Goods Administration, Australian Crime Commission, the Australian Federal Police, as well as state and territory police.

Ms Andruska said ASADA’s concerns about peptides and hormones are not new, but knowing and having the information to act on are two different things under the World Anti-Doping Code.

For some years ASADA and other agencies were aware of a disturbing trend in the acquisition and movement of Performance and Image Enhancing Drugs (PIEDs) into Australia.

During 2009–10 and 2010–11 there was a 106 per cent increase of PIEDs and 255 per cent increase in the number of hormones detected at the Australian border. As for PIEDs detections, it was the highest number recorded in the last decade.

Ms Andruska said in 2011 she shared her concerns about this disturbing new trend with international anti-doping colleagues.

In 2011 ASADA also provided information to the ACC that it had identified possible criminal links through its intelligence gathering into peptide and hormone use is sports.

Ms Andruska said ASADA’s intelligence was the catalyst which culminated in the release of the ACC report; however it was important for ASADA to support the ACC during its 12 month project and allow its investigation to proceed unhindered.

“We are now in a position to use ACC information to investigate possible anti-doping rule violations in sport.

“ASADA cannot talk or speculate about sports or individuals during an investigation or results management process. When a person’s reputation or career is at stake, ASADA has a duty under its legislation to be both thorough and accurate in every step of the process,” Ms Andruska said.

ASADA urges any individual or club with information about doping in sport to contact it through its Hotline on 13 000 27232, or website www.asada.gov.au. Both are completely confidential.

Where an athlete, support person or other person acknowledges their mistakes and are willing to bring further anti-doping rule violations to light by other people ASADA can offer ‘substantial assistance’ under the World Anti-Doping Code.

ASADA is willing to consider this for people who make a stand against doping in sport.

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ASADA CEO Statement on ACC report into Organised Crime and Drugs in Sport

7 February 2013

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ASADA’s involvement started some 18 months ago when we were assessing intelligence about the use of peptides and hormones in sport.

Our intelligence identified possible criminal links regarding the distribution of these substances in sport.

As a result of these links we were keen to involve the Australian Crime Commission and support them through their investigation.

What the Australian Crime Commission’s report reveals is extremely disturbing.

It highlights threats to the integrity of sport and identifies the widespread use of peptides and hormones in some sports

Peptides and hormones are considered a new generation of substances and most are prohibited in sport.

In many instances, the substances are not yet approved for human use.

ASADA has commenced its formal investigation and we will investigate both athletes and support personnel.

I know many will want to know how long the investigation is going to take. This investigation is complex and wide-ranging.

Based on the report’s findings, ASADA will investigate many individuals, across a range of sports.

I cannot say how long it will take, but I can assure everyone that we will be taking the steps necessary to undertake a comprehensive and timely investigation.

As many are aware our legislation does not allow us to talk about an ongoing investigation. This ensures the privacy of any individual under investigation is protected.

I would like to put on record that the sports have committed to work with us wherever we see necessary, and are already engaged in that process.

We are urging anyone with information about doping in sport to come and talk to us. Every bit of information no matter how little could be a piece of a puzzle we need.

We started the ball rolling 18 months ago working with the Australian Crime Commission.

ASADA’s formal investigation is already underway.

Aurora Andruska PSM
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Ministerial media statements

Investigation into doping in sport

MINISTERIAL MEDIA RELEASE:
Former Judge to assist ASADA Investigations

3 February 2014

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THE HON. PETER DUTTON MP

MINISTER FOR HEALTH
MINISTER FOR SPORT

The Australian Sports Anti-Doping Authority (ASADA) has engaged a former Federal Court Judge to assist with its anti-doping investigations.

The Federal Government is providing extra support to ASADA to assist in bringing investigations stemming from the Australian Crime Commission inquiry into drugs in sport to conclusion.

The Minister for Sport Peter Dutton said the Government is providing funding to ASADA to engage The Hon Garry Downes (AM QC FCIArb) to provide assistance in relation to ASADA’s ongoing anti-doping investigations into the National Rugby League (NRL) and Australian Football League (AFL).

"ASADA’s investigative process has been ongoing for nearly a year and is of unprecedented complexity. In light of this, it is appropriate that a suitably qualified person be engaged to assist ASADA as the investigations approach conclusion," Mr Dutton said.

"The Government recognises the strong public and sports’ interest in bringing to a conclusion ASADA'S investigations into the NRL and AFL and it is expected that Mr Downes will be able to complete a review and provide a report to ASADA as soon as possible, but no later than the end of April 2014.

"The review process will assist ASADA in finalising its investigations, but does not in itself guarantee finalisation on a fixed date."

Mr Dutton said this initiative has been taken in consultation with ASADA’s CEO who welcomes the additional support that the Government will provide.

Mr Downes brings with him a wealth of experience from his time as a judge in the Federal Court of Australia as well as President of the Administrative Appeals Tribunal.

Mr Dutton said the Government is committed to ensuring that ASADA remains properly equipped to deal with the evolving challenges of combatting anti-doping activities in Australian sport.

"The Government recognises the importance of sport to all Australians and the key role that it plays in our community, from the professional codes through to grassroots sport.

"Ensuring Australian sport remains free from performance enhancing drugs and the influence of those who would seek to compromise the integrity of sporting competitions remains a high priority for this Government and we will continue to work in partnership to protect the integrity of Australian sport," Mr Dutton said.

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MINISTERIAL MEDIA RELEASE:
ORGANISED CRIME AND DRUGS IN SPORT

7 February 2013

Read more...

JOINT MEDIA RELEASE


THE HON. JASON CLARE MP
CABINET SECRETARY
MINISTER FOR HOME AFFAIRS
MINISTER FOR JUSTICE

 

SENATOR THE HON KATE LUNDY
MINISTER FOR SPORT
MINISTER FOR MULTICULTURAL AFFAIRS
MINISTER ASSISTING FOR INDUSTRY AND INNOVATION

The Australian Crime Commission today released the findings of a 12-month investigation into the integrity of Australian sport and the relationship between professional sporting bodies, prohibited substances and organised crime.

In response the Gillard Government together with Australia’s major professional sports have announced tough new measures to crack down on the use of performance enhancing drugs and unethical behaviour in sport.

The Australian Crime Commission investigation (codenamed Project Aperio) was supported by the Australian Sports Anti-Doping Authority (ASADA) and the Therapeutic Goods Administration (TGA). 

Four key areas were examined: 

  • The market for Performance and Image Enhancing Drugs (PIEDs)
  • The involvement of organised criminal identities and groups in the distribution of new generation PIEDs
  • The use of World Anti-Doping Agency (WADA) prohibited substances by professional athletes in Australia
  • Current threats to the integrity of professional sport in Australia.

Key findings
The investigation identified widespread use of prohibited substances including peptides, hormones and illicit drugs in professional sport.


It also found that this use has been facilitated by sports scientists, high-performance coaches and sports staff.

In some cases, players are being administered with substances that have not yet been approved for human use.


The ACC also identified organised crime identities and groups that are involved in the distribution of PIEDs to athletes and professional sports staff.


The ACC report notes increasing evidence of personal relationships of concern between professional athletes and organised criminal identities and groups. This may have resulted in match fixing and the fraudulent manipulation of betting markets.


“The Australian Crime Commission has found that professional sport in Australia is highly vulnerable to infiltration by organised crime,” Mr Clare said.


“Multiple athletes from a number of clubs in major Australian sporting codes are suspected of currently using or having previously used peptides, potentially constituting anti-doping rule violations. Officials from clubs have also been identified as administering, via injections and intravenous drips, a variety of substances.”


The report concluded that some coaches, sports scientists and support staff of elite athletes have orchestrated and/or condoned the use of prohibited substances. Some sports scientists have indicated a preparedness to administer substances to elite athletes which are untested or not yet approved for human use.


The Australian Crime Commission also found that illicit drug use by professional athletes is more prevalent than previously indicated in official sports drug testing program statistics.


The work the Australian Crime Commission has done has confirmed that organised crime has a tangible and expanding role in the provision of prohibited substances to professional athletes, and this is facilitated by some coaches and support staff.


The Australian Crime Commission has referred its findings in relation to suspected criminal activity to relevant law enforcement agencies including the Australian Federal Police and all State and Territory Police Forces.


ASADA and other regulatory agencies will undertake additional investigations on the basis of the Crime Commission findings.

Response
Responding to the report Senator Lundy said all sports have committed to work with the Government, the Australian Sports Anti-Doping Authority (ASADA) and law enforcement agencies to restore community confidence in sport.


“This week the Government introduced legislation to strengthen ASADA’s powers to enable the full and unhindered investigation of these issues,” Senator Lundy said.


“If persons of interest refuse to cooperate with ASADA investigations they will be liable for civil penalties.
“To support these new powers I have doubled the investigative resources at ASADA to ensure athletes and support staff who are involved in unethical behaviour will be scrutinised.


“In addition, I will be discussing with State and Territory Sports Minister’s measures which we can implement to further strengthen the National Integrity of Sport Unit.”


Senator Lundy issued a warning to sports administrators, medical officers, support staff and athletes that staying silent is no longer an option.


Australia’s major professional sports are equally as committed to stamp out doping and will: 

  • Establish integrity units to deal with doping, betting and ethical issues within each sport;
  • Cooperate fully with ASADA and law enforcement agencies in a joint investigation;
  • Call on their athletes to come forward, own up and co-operate with investigators to possibly reduce sanctions;
  • Enact a multi-code policy to share information and implement doping sanctions across codes; and
  • Have zero tolerance for any support staff who are involved in peddling inappropriate substances and assurances that they will not be employed by other codes.

All members of the Coalition of Major Professional and Participation Sports (COMPPS) have received confidential, classified briefings.


The Australian Government is proud to provide almost $13 million annually to ASADA to assist them in their fight against doping in sport.


The Australian Crime Commission report Organised Crime and Drugs in Sport can be found at www.crimecommission.gov.au

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Frequently asked questions

Investigation update - February 2014

What changes have happened in sport as a result of the investigation?

The Australian Football League (AFL) and National Rugby League (NRL) are taking action to strengthen their governance arrangements, policies and guidelines.

The Australian Olympic Committee has strengthened its anti-doping rules to require Australian athletes and officials in Olympic sports to fully cooperate with ASADA.

Netball, cycling and swimming have proactively introduced, or are about to introduce, strengthened anti-doping policies, and other high-profile sports are following suit.

Yachting Australia introduced a requirement of all athletes competing at the 2014 Australian Youth Championships to complete anti-doping education, achieving 100 per cent compliance.

The importance of intelligence-gathering and investigations to anti-doping efforts has been acknowledged with the inclusion of these functions in the recently endorsed 2015 World Anti-Doping Code.

What is the current status of the investigation 12-months on?

ASADA’s formal investigation (Operation Cobia) arising from the Australian Crime Commission’s Project Aperio has entered its twelfth month.

Operation Cobia is a complex and wide-ranging investigation that has so far involved more than 280 interviews, the review of 120,000 documents and the issuing of disclosure notices to 13 people.

The pace of the investigation has always relied on the level of cooperation from individuals. Refusal to cooperate and misinformation circulating in the public domain have hindered the progress of the investigation at several key stages.

ASADA’s ability to now compel persons to attend an interview and to produce information and documents relevant to an inquiry has helped advance the investigation.

For a number of months ASADA has been issuing disclosure notices to people it considers are important to the investigation. The completion of these interviews will help draw to a close the investigation that started 12-months ago.

What happens once interviews are complete?

For a number of months ASADA has been issuing disclosure notices to people it considers are important to the investigation. The completion of these interviews will help draw to a close the investigation that started 12-months ago.

Australia has a robust process in place to determine if an athlete or support person has committed a possible anti-doping rule violation (ADRV). This process is legislated and at its heart is the notion of procedural fairness.

The process will involve an assessment of the investigation’s evidence by ASADA, a review by the independent Anti-Doping Rule Violation Panel (ADRVP), and a hearing by a Sports Tribunal and/or the Court of Arbitration for Sport. At various points the athlete or support person can proceed to a hearing or waive their right to a hearing, or appeal decisions made by these bodies.

Timeframes for the completion of this process can vary. Every case is unique and a number of factors can influence the direction and length of a case, including hearings and appeal periods.

Only once a final determination has been made by the relevant sport or a Sports Tribunal (and pending any appeals), is ASADA permitted under legislation to publicly disclose information about a violation of the anti-doping rules.

The sensitivity that surrounds allegations of doping can affect the reputation and career of an athlete or support person. It is for this reason ASADA will not discuss the specifics of a case or investigation until its legislation permits.

Ultimately ASADA’s investigation is about protecting player health and welfare, as well as ensuring Australian sport is free of doping. It is about ensuring the health of young people participating in sport and where experimentation with questionable substances does not become the norm.

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General anti-doping and investigation information

What does ASADA do?

ASADA is Australia’s national anti-doping organisation established in 2006 by the Australian Government. Its role is to develop a sporting culture in Australia that is free from doping, and where an athlete’s performance is purely dependent on talent, determination, courage and honesty.

ASADA delivers an integrated anti-doping program that is consistent with the principles of the World Anti-Doping Code and International Standards, and works closely with sports, athletes, support personnel, law enforcement agencies and governments in:

  • designing and delivering education and communication programs
  • detecting and managing anti-doping rule violations, from athlete testing to managing and presenting anti-doping rule violation cases
  • collecting and analysing anti-doping intelligence and investigations cases
  • monitoring and reporting compliance with anti-doping policies
  • supporting athletes to meet their anti-doping obligations.

ASADA is at the forefront of international efforts to tackle doping in sport. It collaborates with National Anti-Doping Organisations, the World Anti-Doping Agency and other stakeholders to influence the anti-doping agenda and further the Australian Government’s efforts to harmonise anti-doping practices internationally.

Why is ASADA investigating?

ASADA is permitted under its legislation to take the findings of the Australian Crime Commission (ACC) and establish its own evidence as to whether, under the World Anti-Doping Code, possible anti-doping rule violations have been committed in sport.  

At the heart of the ACC’s findings was the threat to the integrity of sport through the potential infiltration of organised crime. The ACC also identified significant integrity concerns within professional sports in Australia related to the potential use of prohibited substances by athletes and increasing associations of concern between professional athletes and criminal identities.

Irrespective of whether the substances identified by the ACC were on the World Anti-Doping Agency’s Prohibited List or not, in some instances the substances involved are not approved for human use. This is a major health risk for athletes and is of great concern to ASADA. There is information that some people have been pushing the boundaries with experimental substances and methods which have no place in sport.

ASADA owes it to every Australian athlete that any possible instance of doping is examined in accordance with the World Anti-Doping Code and Australian legislation.

How does an investigation work?

All ASADA investigations are conducted in accordance with the Australian Government Investigation Standards (2011).

Intelligence and investigations is a powerful tool and since ASADA’s creation in 2006, it has been a global leader in using this tool in the fight against doping in sport. Since 2006, about one-third of all athletes banned from sport in Australia for doping violations were caught without ever returning a positive result on a traditional doping test, and intelligence played a key role in that.

From just a single tip-off by a member of the public, ASADA can start gathering intelligence on an athlete or support person. Tip-offs can be submitted through the secure online form, or by calling the ASADA hotline. These pieces of information could be as simple as seeing something suspicious, or overhearing people talk about doping.

Intelligence gathering can also come about from test results. On their own they are not enough to bring about a violation, but unusual blood or urine results are recorded by ASADA and used for target testing.

ASADA also works closely with national sporting bodies and encourages all members of the sporting community to tell ASADA if they have any concerns or suspicions about their athletes or support staff. These relationships have helped ASADA build its intelligence capability.

Law enforcement and other government agencies are another valuable source of intelligence for ASADA. These bodies can provide ASADA with information that ASADA wouldn’t usually be privy to. This includes witness statements, forensic evidence, or other intelligence.

Following changes to the ASADA Act in 2013, ASADA has the ability to issue a 'disclosure notice' compelling persons of interest to assist ASADA's investigations.

All these pieces of the puzzle can lead to ASADA bringing an anti-doping rule violation against an athlete or support person. Sometimes, all it takes is one piece of information to help protect the integrity of sport.

Why won’t ASADA talk about the investigation?

ASADA is absolutely focused on protecting the rights of athletes and support persons in accordance with its legislation. The ASADA Act and National Anti-Doping scheme have clear and tight controls to protect the privacy of people throughout an investigation.

For this reason, ASADA is unable to discuss an ongoing investigation or operational matters associated with an investigation until such a time as its legislation permits. This ensures the integrity of the investigation and the privacy of any individual under investigation is protected.

Breaching ASADA’s legislation in terms of public disclosure carries the serious penalty of two years jail for officers of ASADA.

Why is the ASADA investigation taking so long?

All ASADA investigations are conducted in accordance with the Australian Government Investigation Standards (2011).

ASADA is required to turn intelligence into evidence of a possible breach of the National Anti-Doping scheme or relevant anti-doping policy of a sport. This process can be lengthy and is eventually subject to legal scrutiny.

ASADA has a duty of care to be both thorough and accurate in every step of the process. It is important that investigations run their course, in part to ensure that all the available information is gathered, but also to ensure that the rights of the players and support personnel are protected.

The pace of the investigation can be influenced by the level of assistance that ASADA receives from individuals. Investigations can be hindered by individuals refusing to cooperate with ASADA, and by misinformation circulating in the public domain.

How does ASADA deal with allegations of doping?

ASADA receives information about doping in sport from a wide range of sources. These include:

  • tip-offs by members of the public
  • intelligence from test results
  • national sporting bodies
  • government and law enforcement agencies.

Where necessary and where legislation permits, information outside of ASADA’s jurisdiction is referred onto relevant authorities to review.

All credible allegations or information of doping in a Code-compliant sport are examined by ASADA. In most cases an allegation or piece of information is just one piece of the puzzle and is the starting point from which ASADA can start gathering its own intelligence.

An allegation or intelligence on its own is not enough to bring about a violation under the World Anti-Doping Code. To do this ASADA is required to turn intelligence into evidence of a possible breach of the National Anti-Doping scheme or relevant anti-doping policy of a sport. This process can be lengthy and is eventually subject to legal scrutiny.

In 2012–13, ASADA intelligence analysed 306 incident reports, 191 of which progressed to intelligence case status. During the period, 52 cases which were identified as possible doping cases by the Intelligence team advanced to a full investigation.

What changes were made to the ASADA Act in 2013?

The Australian Sports Anti-Doping Authority Act 2006 (ASADA Act) has been amended to strengthen ASADA’s investigation functions and to enhance information sharing arrangements with other government agencies. In addition, the Act clarifies the role of the Anti-Doping Rule Violation Panel, clarifies conflict of interest provisions for members of anti-doping bodies established under the Act and confirms the statutory period for commencing action against an athlete in relation to possible anti-doping rule violations.

The changes introduced by the Amendment Act will provide additional capabilities to ensure ASADA can meet the contemporary challenges faced in a changing anti-doping environment where analytical testing of athlete urine and blood samples is not exclusive in detecting the most sophisticated doping cases. Only through the application of investigative techniques and intelligence gathering, combined with an effective drug testing program, can an anti-doping agency hope to identify those athletes and athlete support personnel who choose to use prohibited performance-enhancing substances and methods.

ASADA Amendment Act 2013 on ComLaw website [external link]

Is ASADA following due process?

Australia has a robust process in place to determine if an athlete or support person has committed a possible anti-doping rule violation (ADRV). This process is legislated and at its heart is the notion of procedural fairness.

All ASADA investigations are conducted in accordance with the Commonwealth Fraud Control Guidelines and adopt procedures and processes consistent with the Australian Government Investigation Standards (2011).

Following an investigation the process will involve an assessment of the investigation’s evidence by ASADA, a review by the independent Anti-Doping Rule Violation Panel (ADRVP), and a hearing by a Sports Tribunal and/or the Court of Arbitration for Sport. At various points the athlete or support person can proceed to a hearing or waive their right to a hearing, or appeal decisions made by these bodies.

Who is ASADA accountable to?

Not all Australians will be fully aware of ASADA’s work under the World Anti-Doping Code (the Code). The Code is in use by most countries following the unanimous adoption of the International Convention against Doping in Sport by the UNESCO General Conference in 2005.

The Code is the document that applies consistent regulations regarding anti-doping across all sports and all countries of the world. The Code provides a framework for anti-doping policies, rules, and regulations for sport organisations and public authorities. It is ASADA’s primary role to implement the Code in Australia.

In addition to the Code, ASADA is subject to the ASADA Act and ASADA Regulations, the World Anti-Doping Agency’s (WADA) International Standards and the Privacy Act. Under its legislation ASADA conducts its investigations in accordance with the Australian Government Investigation Standards. These all contain provisions that regulate the work ASADA does to protect the integrity of sport and eliminate doping in sport.

ASADA is also subject to external scrutiny through judicial decisions, the Commonwealth Auditor-General, Parliamentary Committees and Commonwealth Ombudsman reports. ASADA’s internal procedures and policies are also required to meet international standards.

Ultimately, all decisions made by ASADA can be reviewed by WADA or a relevant International Federation. This means if WADA or the International Federation disagrees with any anti-doping decision made by ASADA or an individual sport, WADA can appeal that decision to the Court of Arbitration for Sport.

Who decides which substances and methods are prohibited in sport?

In Australia ASADA implements the World Anti-Doping Code (the Code) administered by the World Anti-Doping Agency (WADA). The cornerstone of the Code is the Prohibited List that identifies which substances and methods are prohibited in- and out-of-competition. The Prohibited List is one of the WADA International Standards and is mandatory for signatories to the Code. ASADA’s testing program focuses solely on the Prohibited List to identify substances and methods prohibited in sport.

WADA is responsible for preparing and annually publishing the List of Prohibited Substances and Methods following consultation with experts and WADA’s many stakeholders. Development of the List involves three meetings each year of the List Expert Group. The List is approved by WADA’s Executive Committee in September of each year and published three months prior to it coming into effect on 1 January.

In addition to WADA’s promotion of the Prohibited List, ASADA also promotes the List and its changes to Australian sports and athletes each year.

Why doesn't the Prohibited List contain every prohibited substance and method?

The World Anti-Doping Prohibited List identifies substances and methods that athletes cannot take or use, and presents them in a number of categories. It is important to understand that the Prohibited List is not exhaustive in that several categories of substances are ‘open’. For example, some categories include ‘other substances with a similar chemical structure or similar biological effect(s)’. 

Every year there are hundreds, if not thousands, of new or modified substances developed in laboratories, or new products released onto the market or black-market. There are also people willing to push the boundaries with experimental substances and methods which have not been clinically tested or approved for human use.

For these reasons there will be instances where ASADA must consult with an extensive range of stakeholders (including WADA), as well as conduct a thorough examination of products and methods before it forms a view on the status of a particular substance, method or product.

Under the World Anti-Doping Code’s strict liability principle, athletes are ultimately responsible for any substance found in their body, regardless of how it got there. The presence of a prohibited substance may result in an anti-doping rule violation, whether its use was intentional or unintentional. ASADA’s advice to athletes and support personnel is to use caution when considering the use of a particular substance or product as it may lead to a possible anti-doping rule violation.

Does ASADA give advice on the status of substances and methods?

There are several ways an athlete or support person can obtain information on the status in sport of certain substances.

Online

There are instances where World Anti-Doping Agency (WADA) prohibited substances are contained in over the counter and complementary medicines in Australia. ASADA offers an online ‘Check your substances’ resource to assist athletes and support personnel check the status of Australian brand medication. This online search tool, is not intended to cover every substance, but provides information for the most commonly prescribed, over the counter and complementary medicines in Australia. When someone conducts a search on ‘Check your substances’ there are two important messages that appear as a caution:

IMPORTANT:
If you cannot find your search term on 'Check Your Substances' that does NOT mean that it is permitted in sport. Further, 'Check your Substances' lists whether substances are prohibited in sport in accordance with WADA's Prohibited List as amended from time to time. Results from searches conducted on 'Check your Substances' are in no way intended to indicate whether it is legal to possess or use these substances under Australian Federal, State or Territory laws.

IMPORTANT:
If you cannot find your search term on 'Check Your Substances' that does NOT mean that it is permitted in sport. Please check the list below for an exact match to your search term. If you cannot find an exact match for your search, please contact ASADA immediately.

Telephone

ASADA provides athletes and support personnel with a telephone advice service. This service allows individuals to check the status of certain substances and methods, and it complements the online ‘Check your substances’ tool.

The advantage of the telephone service is that ASADA staff are able to deal directly with people to get a better understanding of the substance or method and then use this information to check the enquiry against a number of databases. Where an enquiry relates to supplements, people are provided with ASADA’s position on supplements. Where an enquiry involves a complex or unknown substance or method, the enquiry is referred to specialists for a determination.

Education

Education is also an important part of ASADA’s comprehensive approach to protect Australia’s sporting integrity through the elimination of doping. In the last financial year more than 24,000 athletes and support personnel participated in online and face-to-face education activities supplied by ASADA.

ASADA’s education program aims to reduce the number of athletes contemplating doping, reinforce health messages, reduce the percentage of inadvertent anti-doping rule violations and raise anti-doping awareness throughout the Australian sporting community.

Prohibited List promotion

WADA is responsible for preparing and annually publishing the List of Prohibited Substances and Methods following consultation with experts and WADA’s many stakeholders. In addition to WADA’s global promotion of the Prohibited List, ASADA promotes the List and its changes to Australian sports and athletes each year.

General communications

ASADA provides information to sports, athletes and support personnel to help them understand and meet their anti-doping obligations, deter them from doping and minimise risks to their health and wellbeing.

ASADA distributes media releases and announcements of interest to the sports community. To get ASADA’s announcements, anyone can follow ASADA on Twitter @anti_doping.

Are peptides banned in sport?

Since 2004 releasing factors for growth hormone, including growth-hormone releasing peptides, have been banned under section S.2 of the World Anti-Doping Prohibited List.

For a substance or method to be prohibited it must meet two of the following three conditions.

  1. The substance or method has the potential to enhance, or does enhance performance in sport.
  2. The substance or method has the potential to risk the athlete’s health.
  3. WADA has determined that the substance of method violates the spirit of sport.

What is the status in sport of substance AOD–9604?

Since 2011, AOD-9604 has come under section S.0 of the World Anti-Doping Prohibited List.

What is the S.0 category of the World Anti-Doping Prohibited List?

The World Anti-Doping Prohibited List describes S.0 as:

Any pharmacological substance which is not addressed by any of the subsequent sections of the List and with no current approval by any governmental regulatory health authority for human therapeutic use (e.g. drugs under pre-clinical or clinical development or discontinued, designer drugs, substances approved only for veterinary use) is prohibited at all times

The S.0 section of the World Anti-Doping Prohibited List addresses the issue of the abuse of pharmacological substances for the purpose of performance enhancement that are not included in other sections of the Prohibited List.

This section acknowledges that every year there are hundreds, if not thousands, of new or modified substances developed in laboratories, or new products released onto the market or black-market. It also recognises situations where there are people willing to push the boundaries with experimental substances and methods which have not been clinically tested or approved for human use.

Substances included in section S.0 are considered specified (see FAQ: What is a specified substance? below).

What is a specified substance?

In accordance with Article 4.2.2 of the World Anti-Doping Code, all prohibited substances shall be considered as “specified substances” except substances in sections S.1, S.2, S.4.4, S.4.5, S.6.a, and Prohibited Methods M.1, M.2 and M.3.

A specified substance is a substance which allows, under defined conditions, for a greater reduction of a two-year sanction when an athlete tests positive for that particular substance.

The purpose is to recognise that it is possible for a substance to enter an athlete’s body inadvertently, and therefore allow a tribunal more flexibility when making a sanctioning decision.

Specified substances are not necessarily less serious agents for the purpose of doping than other prohibited substances, and nor do they relieve athletes of the strict liability rule that makes them responsible for all substances that enter his or her body.

However, there is a greater likelihood that these substances could be susceptible to a credible non-doping explanation, as outlined in section 10.4 of the World Anti-Doping Code.

This greater likelihood is simply not credible for certain substances – such as steroids and human growth hormone – and this is why these are not classified as specified.

What is ASADA’s position on supplements?

ASADA’s position on supplements has been consistent for many years and can be found on its website.

Because supplement manufacturing processes can lead to their contents varying from batch to batch, ASADA cannot advise whether, at any particular time, a specific supplement, or batch of a supplement, contains prohibited substances. As such, ASADA’s warning about supplement use is very clear— athletes who take supplements are at risk of committing a possible anti-doping rule violation.

Does ASADA provide consent to use supplements?

Generally ASADA’s policy is to not approve a supplement or a supplement program. The reasons for this are outlined in the supplement warning information detailed on the ASADA website.

Can an athlete use a prohibited substance or method for medical purposes?

There are occasions where an athlete may need to use a prohibited medication or method to treat a legitimate medical condition. A Therapeutic Use Exemption (TUE) is an exemption that allows athletes to use, for therapeutic purposes, an otherwise prohibited substance or method.

In Australia, applications for TUEs are submitted to the Australian Sports Drug Medical Advisory Committee (ASDMAC). ASDMAC is a specialist medical advisory body consisting of experienced medical professionals and operate independently from ASADA.

Athletes can only get a TUE if there is no unfair advantage from taking the substance or using the method. Criteria for determining whether a TUE is granted are defined by the World Anti-Doping Agency (WADA). The criteria are:

  • The athlete would experience a significant impairment to their health without the use of the prohibited substance or method.
  • The therapeutic use of the prohibited substance or prohibited method would produce no additional enhancement of performance.
  • There is no reasonable therapeutic alternative to the use of the otherwise prohibited substance or prohibited method.

There has not been a positive test; how can a player be sanctioned?

ASADA has known for some time that testing alone will not catch every athlete doping. So in 2006, Australia became the first country to introduce intelligence and investigations into an anti-doping detection program.

With this initiative ASADA has managed to redefine anti-doping globally by building a unique capability of integrating traditional testing with the ability to investigate possible doping activity.

In Australia, ASADA works cooperatively with the Australian Customs and Border Protection Service, the Therapeutic Goods Administration, the Australian Federal Police, as well as state and territory police. In 2012, ASADA further strengthened its investigation and intelligence capabilities by signing a Memorandum of Understanding with the Australian Crime Commission (ACC). ASADA also works cooperatively with other National Anti-Doping organisations and international federations in the sharing of information across borders.

Since 2006, about one-third of all athletes banned from sport in Australia for doping violations were caught without ever returning a positive result on a traditional doping test, and intelligence played a key role in that. It would be correct to say that with the introduction of intelligence and investigations, the probability of catching athletes cheating has increased. Crucially, the information that led to the ACC investigation into organised crime and drugs in sport may never have been uncovered.

Such is the success of ASADA’s intelligence and investigations program; it is praised by WADA and is being emulated by anti-doping agencies abroad. For many years ASADA has shared its experience and knowledge regarding intelligence and investigations with anti-doping organisations in Europe, Asia, the Middle East, Africa and the Americas.

What is a provisional suspension, and when does it happen?

In some circumstances an athlete may be provisionally suspended by their sport during the anti-doping rule violation process; they include the following.

  • Athletes can be provisionally suspended if they return a positive result for their A sample; some sports’ anti-doping policies make this suspension mandatory, some do not.
  • Most sport anti-doping policies also allow the sport to provisionally suspend an athlete at its discretion, in consultation with ASADA.
  • An athlete may be provisionally suspended when an infraction notice or equivalent has been issued by the sport: this may occur outside ASADA’s processes and is determined by the sport.

ASADA will not disclose any information about an athlete who has been provisionally suspended as this occurs during the anti-doping rule violation process, and ASADA will not publicly announce details about an anti-doping rule violation until the process is concluded to ensure that the athlete or support person has their privacy protected while a matter is under review.

Does ASADA impose bans on athletes?

ASADA does not have the power to stand down, sanction or ban athletes or support persons – this is a decision for the relevant sport.

If a player tests positive to a banned substance, are there any measures in place to sanction support staff such as coaches or sports scientists?

The World Anti-Doping Code (the Code) defines ‘athlete support personnel’ as any coach, trainer, manager, agent, team staff, official, medical or paramedical personnel, or any other person working with, treating, or assisting an athlete participating in, or preparing for sports competition.

Athlete support personnel involved in the life of an athlete can be subject to the Code. While anything found in an athlete's body is the athlete's responsibility, support personnel can commit anti-doping rule violations and receive a subsequent sanction if they were involved in breaching the Code.

There are eight possible anti-doping rule violations under the Code of which the seventh and eighth specifically deal with support personnel:

7. Trafficking or Attempted Trafficking in any Prohibited Substance or Prohibited Method

8. Administration or attempted administration to any athlete in-competition of any prohibited method or prohibited substance, or administration or attempted administration to any athlete out-of-competition of any prohibited method or any prohibited substance that is prohibited out-of-competition, or assisting, encouraging, aiding, abetting, covering up or any other type of complicity involving an Anti-Doping Rule Violation or any attempted Anti-Doping Rule Violation.

Can support personnel be banned for using WADA prohibited substances?

The World Anti-Doping Code violations of ‘Presence’ and ‘Use’ apply to athletes only. 

The ‘Use’ of a prohibited substance by a support person (i.e. coach) is not a breach of the Code.

However, depending on the outcomes of any investigation, support personnel may be potentially liable for other anti-doping rule violations, namely, trafficking of a prohibited substance, administration of a prohibited substance, and attempted trafficking and administration.

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General process

Investigations and potential anti-doping rule violations

ASADA follows the principles set out under the World Anti-Doping Code (the Code) to establish a process for the
administration of potential anti-doping rule violations (ADRVs). There are eight ADRVs an athlete or support person can commit under the Code. Therefore, each potential ADRV brought before ASADA is unique in both its circumstances and the time it takes to reach a conclusion.

ASADA’s policy is to not talk or speculate about individuals during the process as Australian legislation ensures that an athlete or support person has their privacy protected while a matter is being reviewed.


It is important to remember that in all potential doping cases it is the athlete or support person’s reputation and sometimes
career that is at stake. Sanctions for violations can range from a warning, to a short suspension, to a lifetime ban.
The process set out here describes the general course of action that a matter may take through to its conclusion. The exact detail of the process will depend upon the anti-doping policy of the relevant sport and the unique facts of each individual matter.

 
Stage
Details
Public disclosure
ASADA
  • Under its legislation, ASADA has a function to investigate possible violations of anti-doping rules to determine whether there is evidence of an ADRV, as defined by the National Anti-Doping Scheme and the World Anti-Doping Code.
  • An ADRV can be established against an athlete without a positive test.
  • ASADA has in place information-sharing
    relationships with government agencies, law enforcement bodies and sporting administration bodies.
  • Intelligence is also received from a variety of sources including the general public through tip offs, through doping control field work, athlete whereabouts, and scientific analysis.
  • As a government agency, ASADA is bound by Commonwealth Fraud Control guidelines.
    ASADA’s intelligence and investigations
    functions are also conducted in accordance
    with the Australian Government Investigations Standards.
  • ASADA analyses referrals of performance and image-enhancing drugs information received from Customs, Law Enforcement bodies and any other intelligence sources to determine if a case proceeds to investigation status.
  • Once a matter becomes an ASADA investigation there are several steps involved such as interviewing appropriate people and gathering relevant evidence of a possible ADRV. The length of this process varies based on unique circumstances and complexity of the investigation. For instance, the discovery of evidence may lead to further avenues of enquiry in an investigation.
  • ASADA has the power to issue a 'disclosure notice' compelling persons of interest to assist ASADA's investigations.
  • Upon the completion of an investigation, all relevant evidence and material for potential ADRVs are referred to ASADA’s Legal team for review.
  • Generally ASADA informs an athlete or support person and their relevant sporting administration body of an investigation at the point ASADA decides that there may be a possible ADRV.
  • In accordance with its legislative framework, ASADA puts formal allegations of a possible ADRV to the athlete or support person in anticipation of the matter being considered by the independent Anti-Doping Rule Violation Panel (ADRVP).
  • The athlete or support person has the opportunity to make a submission to the ADRVP prior to their consideration of a matter.
ASADA cannot discuss specific details of its intelligence and investigations program. ASADA is bound by the ASADA Act and ASADA Regulations, the World Anti-Doping Code, the World
Anti-Doping Agency (WADA)
International Standard for the
Protection of Privacy and Personal Information and the Privacy Act. All of these documents contain provisions that regulate when and what ASADA can say about individual matters.



























Athletes or support persons are
generally allowed ten days to provide
material to the the ADRVP for
consideration. This timeframe can be
extended at the request of an athlete
or support person. The extension of
time generally occurs in complicated
matters to provide fairness and allow
an athlete to obtain and provide
relevant information to the ADRVP.
Anti-Doping Rule
Violation Panel
  • The ADRVP is a decision-making body independent from ASADA whose members are appointed by the Minister for Sport.
  • The ADRVP reviews ASADA’s processes and all relevant evidence in a matter and makes decisions as to whether to enter an athlete or support person’s details onto the Register of Findings if it believes that a person has possibly committed an ADRV.
  • An athlete or support person can appeal a decision of the ADRVP to the Administrative Appeals Tribunal (AAT). Appeals to the AAT are only in relation to whether ASADA has complied with its legislative framework and whether there is sufficient evidence for a possible ADRV to have been committed. Appeals to the AAT do not cover issues such as possible sanctions under an individual sport’s anti-doping policy or whether an actual ADRV has occurred.
ASADA cannot comment publicly on ADRVP matters, including whether a matter is going to the ADRVP or on the outcome of any decision of the Panel.




There is no set timeframe to resolve appeals to the AAT. Athletes or support persons are allowed 28 days from receiving notification of their entry onto the Register of Findings to make a decision to appeal to the AAT.
Sports Tribunal
  • If an athlete or support person is entered on to the Register of Findings by the ADRVP, the athlete or support person will receive an ‘infraction notice’ in accordance with their sport’s anti-doping policy.
  • The infraction notice will provide the athlete with the opportunity to have a first instance hearing before a Sports Tribunal (such as the Ordinary Division of the Court of Arbitration for Sport).
  • The Sports Tribunal is responsible for finding whether an ADRV has actually been committed and for imposing any relevant sanction under the sport’s anti-doping policy.
  • Athletes and support persons can waive their right to a hearing. In these cases, the sport will decide the appropriate sanction in accordance with its anti-doping policy.
  • Athletes or support persons, ASADA, WADA or an athlete or support person’s International Federation may be able to appeal the first instance Sports Tribunal decision to the Appeals Division of the Court of Arbitration for Sport.
  • Note: Sports Tribunal hearings differ from court proceedings as they are generally closed to the public. The timeframe for conducting hearings varies according to the complexity of individual matters.
Athletes are generally provided a 14 day timeframe to respond to an infraction notice under their sport’s anti-doping policy.

ASADA is authorised to publicly release information regarding the outcome of a matter (such as, the name of an athlete or support person, the length of an athlete or support person’s ban, the ADRVs committed by an athlete or support person) once a final determination has been made by the relevant sport or a Sports Tribunal (pending any appeals).

If the athlete or support person does not elect to go to a hearing, or the Sports Tribunal decides against the athlete or support person, ASADA will issue a public announcement within 20 days of the matter being finalised.

Full written decisions of the ordinary Division of the Court of Arbitration for Sport that an ADRV has been committed are not always publised and may be confidential.
However, as outlined above (pending any appeals) ASADA will publish the outcome of the matter.

Generally, full written decisions of the Appeals Division of the Court of Arbitration for Sport that an ADRV has been committed are available for publication.

Download the General process: Investigations and potential anti-doping rule violations as a factsheet here. [PDF - 61KB]

Substantial Assistance

Substantial Assistance

Potential reduction in sanction in exchange for co-operation

The information below sets out the significant potential benefits for a person if they co-operate with ASADA’s investigation. The benefits flow from rules in the in the World Anti-Doping Code (WADC) with respect to “Substantial Assistance”.

What is Substantial Assistance?

Substantial Assistance is where an Athlete, Athlete Support Personnel or other Person who may have committed potential anti-doping rule violations co-operates with anti-doping organisations and provides assistance and information to establish anti-doping rule violations by others.  It may be possible to receive up to a ¾ reduction in the otherwise applicable two-year sanction if a person provides Substantial Assistance.

There are strict guidelines under the WADC and sport anti-doping policies which govern any reduction in the period of Ineligibility a person may receive arising out of the assistance they provide to ASADA throughout the course of its investigations.

How might Substantial Assistance work?

If a person satisfies several conditions ASADA may recommend that a sport seek to impose a penalty on a person of six (6) months Ineligibility instead of the otherwise standard two (2) year sanction.  This means that after six (6) months an athlete or support person can go back to training and competing in sport.  To receive this discount a person must:

  1. waive their right to a hearing under their relevant ADP;
  2. fully disclose in a signed written statement all the information they know in relation to anti-doping rule violations;
  3. fully co-operate with the investigation and hearing of any case related to the information they provide in their statement, including, for example, giving evidence at a hearing if requested to do so by ASADA and/or their sport; and
  4. provide truthful information that is credible.

To qualify, the information provided must comprise an important part of any case which is initiated or, if no case is initiated, must have provided a sufficient basis on which a case could have been brought.

What if a person does not provide information to ASADA until later in time?

The earlier in the investigation a person co-operates and provides useful information that amounts to Substantial Assistance, the greater the discount they are likely to receive.

If a person delays in providing information to ASADA, they run the risk that the same information will be obtained from someone else.  If that happens when they do decide to co-operate the information is not likely to form an important part of any case and they will not be entitled to any discount for Substantial Assistance.

If all the criteria stated above are fulfilled by an athlete or support person and any reduction in sanction is given to them (including the suspension of three quarters of the maximum period of Ineligibility), the World Anti-Doping Agency (WADA) and the athlete’s International Federation still have a right to appeal the sanction to the Court of Arbitration of Sport.  In any such appeal it would be for the athlete or support person, with the support of ASADA and their National Federation, to demonstrate that the sanction was suspended reasonably and in accordance with the WADC.  People will be aware that sanctions of 6 months were imposed on the cyclists who co-operated in the Lance Armstrong case and that no appeal was made by WADA seeking longer sanctions.

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