Australian Government response to the review of Cycling Australia

Page last updated: 07 November 2013

 

Conducted by the Honourable James Wood AO QC

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The document must be attributed as the Australian Government response to the Review of Cycling Australia, Department of Regional Australia, Local Government, Arts and Sport.

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Australian Government Response to the Review of Cycling Australia

The Australian Government would like to thank the Honourable James Wood AO QC for providing his wealth of knowledge and experience to the Review of Cycling Australia (the Review) and in particular for the thorough and extensive approach he demonstrated in examining Cycling Australia's governance and anti-doping practices.

In 2012 the sport of cycling was rocked by the confirmation of sophisticated doping programs at the highest levels of international cycling implicating key Cycling Australia officials.

The Australian Government commissioned the Review to assure the Australian community that they can have confidence that Australian cycling is governed with the highest integrity and to safeguard the future direction of the sport.

The Australian Government is committed to ensuring that Australian sport is clean, fair and well-governed. In addition, the recently announced Australian Sports Commission (ASC) Winning Edge strategy for high performance sport requires the highest standards of governance and integrity at all levels of sport.

The Review clearly articulates that while Cycling Australia has in place anti-doping arrangements, it could have demonstrated greater foresight in seeking out possible doping irregularities and implementing preventative programs. The Review suggested that inadequate governance arrangements, a precarious financial position and less than optimal administrative structures all contributed to Cycling Australia's current position.

The Review made 17 recommendations that provide practical mechanisms to substantially improve Cycling Australia's governance and anti-doping practices, its ability to identify past or present doping activities, how it educates and supports young cyclists as well as ensuring the integrity of the sport is maintained.

The Australian Government supports all the recommendations contained in the Review and notes the broader application of the Review to other national sporting codes and organisations. The Government encourages all sport administrators to familiarise themselves with the review and its recommendations to ensure they have the best policies and structures in place with regard to their own governance and anti-doping activities.

In response to the Review into Cycling Australia, the Australian Government will:

  • introduce legislative amendments to strengthen the Australian anti-doping regime in light of the Review and the recent investigation by the United States Anti-Doping Authority, and
  • require Cycling Australia to adopt and implement all recommendations in the Review.

The Australian Government believes the establishment of a strong anti-doping culture and effective governance are essential if Cycling Australia is to learn from the past and develop appropriate mechanisms to deal with issues the sport may face in the future regarding doping and other integrity issues.

The Australian Sports Commission, the Australian Sports Anti-Doping Authority and the National Integrity of Sport Unit will work closely with Cycling Australia to ensure the Review recommendations are responded to by the end of 2013. Ongoing funding from the Australian Government will be reviewed in light of Cycling Australia's progress in responding to the recommendations.

 

Recommendation Government Position Government Response
3.1 Upgrading governance structure
3.1.1 Cycling Australia (CA) move as soon as practicable to incorporate under the Corporations Act 2001 (Cth) as a company limited by guarantee, consistent with the Australian Sports Commission's (ASC) Sports Governance Principles.
3.1.2 In the event of CA retaining its status as an incorporated association, an independent review be conducted of its Constitution and By-laws to ensure that it has a governance structure that is appropriate for its objectives and for the constituent associations and individual members whom it represents.
3.1.3 CA establish a Women's Commission or similar advisory body, to be chaired by a member of the Board.
3.1.4 CA make arrangements to provide active assistance for the Athletes' Commission and the Women's Commission (if created) so as to allow them more effectively to have the views of riders engaged in the sport taken into account by the Board and management of CA.
SUPPORT The Australian Government requires national sporting organisations (NSOs) to have in place robust governance structures to ensure that they are well placed to oversee their sports.

The Australian Government strongly supports CA being incorporated under the Corporations Act 2001 (Cth) as a company limited by guarantee and expects CA to implement recommendation 3.1.1 rather than the option outlined in recommendation 3.1.2.

The ASC will work closely with CA to reform its current governance arrangements in line with these recommendations.

In addition, the Australian Government supports the establishment of a Women's Commission or similar advisory body to advance participation for women in cycling and agrees that CA provide active assistance and support for all its commissions.

3.2 Integrating national cycling bodies
3.2.1 CA, Bicycle Motocross Australia (BMXA) and Mountain Bike Australia (MTBA) proceed to integrate to a single governance structure to centrally oversee operations for all disciplines at a national level as soon as possible.
3.2.2 For this purpose BMXA and MTBA be given constituent member status.
3.2.3 The ASC take a proactive role in facilitating this integration and advising on appropriate governance reform.
3.2.4 Consideration be given to the development of a longer term plan for further integration of the sport of cycling using a staged approach.
SUPPORT The Australian Government supports the creation of a single integrated and unified national body for all cycling disciplines.

The ASC will take a proactive role in facilitating this in line with these recommendations noting that in the first instance a transition plan will be needed. Moving to this structure should not delay the adoption of recommendation 3.1.1 which should occur as soon as practicable.

3.3 Adopting a Declaration Policy
3.3.1 CA introduce a Declaration Policy which would incorporate features outlined in paragraph 3.92.
SUPPORT The Government expects CA to introduce a Declarations Policy in line with this recommendation as soon as possible.
3.4 Strengthening Boards and Commissions
3.4.1 An independent review be undertaken to reach an agreed governance structure before establishing a company limited by guarantee, to enable the integration of BMXA, MTBA and CA.
3.4.2 CA constitute an audit committee, that will include at least one external and independent Certified Practising Accountant and its Chief Operating Officer (or equivalent).
3.4.3 CA introduce a process for the periodic assessment of the performance of the Board.
3.4.4 CA immediately increase the number of independent Directors from two to four in parallel with the broader governance initiatives.
3.4.5 CA arrange for Directors to participate in the Australian Institute of Company Directors course.
SUPPORT The Australian Government supports CA immediately strengthening governance arrangements in relation to its Board, Directors and performance of the organisation, in line with the ASC Sport Governance Principles covering Board composition, roles, powers, processes reporting and performance, governance systems, ethical and responsible decision-making and stakeholder relationships.

The ASC will continue to work closely with CA to assist it to establish an agreed governance structure in line with these recommendations. This will include the development of an integration transition plan to ensure integration as soon as possible in line with recommendation 3.2.

3.5 Establishing an Integrity Unit
3.5.1 CA establish a dedicated Integrity Unit with responsibility for ensuring the application of CA's Anti-Doping Policy, its Codes of Conduct and the Illicit Drugs in Sport (IDIS) program.
SUPPORT The Australian Government supports CA establishing frameworks to address integrity issues. The Office for Sport, including the National Integrity of Sport Unit, ASC and ASADA will work closely with CA to ensure its Integrity Unit is established to meet the intention of the recommendation.
3.6 Co-locating administrative and commercial offices
3.6.1 CA consider co-locating their administrative and commercial functions, subject to a costbenefit analysis.
SUPPORT The Australian Government supports the co-location of CA's operations, within existing funding arrangements, in line with this recommendation for more effective coordination of national activities.
3.7 Improving links between commercialisation activities and cycling stakeholders
3.7.1 CA continue to participate in the Grass Roots joint venture and ensure that it continues to be efficiently managed in CA's interest and in a way that enhances its relationships with the constituent associations.
3.7.2 Consultation take place between CA and the state/territory associations in developing a national calendar of events and in ensuring that there is an equitable division or partnership in event allocation so as to advance the interests of the associations and the sport of cycling as a whole.
SUPPORT The Australian Government supports CA improving its relationships with relevant stakeholders and ensuring that it has appropriate practices in place to manage and assess the performance of its commercial activities.

The ASC will closely monitor and support the implementation of these reforms to ensure all cycling stakeholders are catered for.

4.1 Building anti-doping accountability and networks
The CA Board place a greater focus on the enforcement of its anti-doping code through strategies including:
4.1.1 Establishing, as a standing agenda item for Board meetings, a report from the proposed Integrity Unit that will deal with anti-doping developments and challenges occurring both in Australia and overseas.
4.1.2 Ensuring that active steps are taken to proactively exchange information with the Australian Sports Anti-Doping Authority (ASADA) in relation to possible areas of concern involving doping.
4.1.3 Establishing closer links with the state/territory associations, the Union Cycliste Internationale (UCI) and the Oceania Cycling Confederation, as well as with peak cycling organisations in other countries that have adopted a strong anti-doping stance, including in particular British Cycling.
4.1.4 Establishing a closer working relationship with the Australian Drug Foundation in order to develop a community drug and alcohol education strategy that could assist in limiting substance abuse problems amongst cyclists.
4.1.5 Preparing a more comprehensive Code of Conduct for members, incorporating relevant sections of the draft Code that is intended to apply to employees, Board members and contractors, and incorporating compliance with CA's Anti-Doping Policy and the proposed Declaration Policy.
SUPPORT The Australian Government supports NSOs having an established anti-doping framework that enables them to address doping issues effectively and promotes a culture of clean competition both in Australia and overseas.

The Government expects CA to work closely with ASADA and other relevant agencies to ensure the appropriate exchange of information occurs and to explore any other initiatives which will create and promote a stronger anti-doping culture within cycling.

The Government supports CA seeking assistance from external agencies and organisations to assist in the implementation of these recommendations, including the development of a more comprehensive code of conduct and proposed Declaration Policy.

ASADA will monitor the CA's implementation of these recommendations as part of its ongoing relationship with CA and through its compliance reporting to the ASC.

4.2 Establishing an Ethics and Integrity Panel
CA amend its Constitution in order to:
4.2.1 Establish an Ethics and Integrity Panel, with terms of reference approved by the Board, with the function of considering and reporting to the Board appropriate recommendations concerning doping, disciplinary, member protection, and other ethical and integrity issues arising under CA's Codes of Conduct and Anti-Doping Policy.
4.2.2 Make provision for the regulation of proceedings brought before the Panel, including an avenue for appeal.
SUPPORT The Australian Government supports NSOs having appropriate mechanisms in place to deal with doping, disciplinary, member protection and other ethical and integrity issues. Specifically, that CA establish a panel to manage these issues in line with these recommendations.

The ASC will work closely with CA to examine its current arrangements and provide advice on changes required to address the issues raised in the Review.

The Government also notes that in line with the National Policy on Match-Fixing in Sport, sporting organisations are expected to apply a disciplinary framework within their codes of conduct, including sanctions and appropriate investigative processes with minimum and meaningful sanctions. The National Integrity of Sport Unit will work closely with CA to ensure its integrity measures and processes, meet its commitments in relation to integrity in sport matters.

4.3 Improving anti-doping education
CA, with the assistance of ASADA, review its education programs and develop an Education Plan so as to:
4.3.1 Ensure that they comply with contemporary communication and learning standards and provide the information that needs to be known, dependent on the category of people to whom they are directed.
4.3.2 Disseminate in a timely way updates in relation to developments concerning prohibited substances and methods, supplement use and other matters of relevance to the national anti-doping (NAD) scheme.
4.3.3 Develop ways of disseminating anti-doping education to a wider audience, in conjunction with state/territory associations, MTBA, BMXA and cycling clubs.
4.3.4 Maintain a record of education compliance by athletes attached to CA programs and of the delivery of education programs generally.
4.3.5 Impose compliance with CA's anti-drug educational requirements as a condition for inclusion as an athlete in a national team or of coach accreditation.
4.3.6 Maintain a record of the delivery of education for inclusion in its Annual Report.
4.3.7 Make provisions for CA, in conjunction with ASADA, to assess and report annually to the ASC on CA's delivery of anti-doping education against the Plan.
4.3.8 Encourage senior riders to attend camps and group seminars involving young riders to provide a firsthand account of the way in which the testing regime applies and of the need to ride clean.
SUPPORT The Australian Government expects NSOs to have in place anti-doping initiatives that aim to educate athletes, improve awareness of doping matters amongst elite and grassroots participants and ensure high standards of integrity are maintained.

The Government expects CA to implement changes to improve anti-doping education in line with these recommendations.

ASADA, through its existing anti-doping education programs, will work closely with CA to assist, where appropriate, to give effect to these recommendations.

4.4 Supplements
4.1 CA introduce its own supplements policy that would:
4.4.1.1 Reinforce the Australian Institute of Sport Policy.
4.4.1.2 Encourage coaches and medical and sports science staff to actively promote the benefits of nutrition and training in preference to reliance on supplements.
4.4.1.3 Require athletes in high performance and development programs to report information electronically on a quarterly basis in relation to the supplements that they have been using, their source and the reasons for their use, with such information to be maintained on a register that would be accessible by medical and sports science staff.
4.4.2 Relevant agencies should consider opportunities to inform athletes and the broader community of the potential presence of banned substances in sport supplement products.
SUPPORT The Australian Government supports the need for NSOs to facilitate greater awareness amongst athletes and the community of the substances found in supplements.

The Government expects CA to develop a supplements policy to give effect to these recommendations.

The Government, through the ASC, AIS and ASADA, will monitor CA's implementation of these recommendations as part of their ongoing relationships.

The Government will seek advice, from relevant agencies, on areas where current arrangements in relation to the identification of supplement ingredients could be enhanced including labelling and regulatory requirements.

4.5 Strengthening identification and reporting of possible doping activity
CA establish a policy that would:
4.5.1 Include a protocol for the identification by coaches and sport support personnel of the warning signs that might indicate that an athlete was engaging in doping activity, and identify a line of authority for reporting such a matter.
4.5.2 Provide that a failure to report will constitute a breach of CA's Code of Conduct in circumstances where the coach or sport support personnel has a belief, based on reasonable grounds, that an athlete attached to a CA program or team has engaged in doping activity.
4.5.3 Provide sanctions for an athlete, coach or sport support person who refuses to cooperate with an ASADA investigation.
SUPPORT The Australian Government supports NSOs having appropriate mechanisms in place to identify and report doping and other integrity issues.

The Government expects CA to establish a policy to give effect to these recommendations ensuring that the reporting lines for the identification and reporting of doping issues are clear and consistent across the sport.

The Government notes that the panel to be established in line with recommendation 4.2 will have a significant role in the implementation of these recommendations.

ASADA will work closely with CA and provide advice to assist it to implement these recommendations.

4.6 Extending the reach of testing
CA give consideration to:
4.6.1 Supporting an extension of the reach of testing, on both a random and targeted basis, to selected events at club, state/territory and Masters level (road, track, mountain bike and BMX) and providing modest funding for that purpose.
4.6.2 Engaging with the UCI to ensure that the cost of delivering doping control does not cause promoters to withdraw races from the sanctioned list of events.
SUPPORT The Australian Government expects CA to increase testing for cycling events within Australia, including making provision for testing in negotiations with promoters and organisers of cycling events.

ASADA will work closely with CA in providing advice on the implementation of appropriate testing arrangements for events including providing testing services on a cost recovery basis.

4.7 Helping the transition of riders to professional teams
4.7.1 CA develop a program whereby senior Australian professional riders and coaches can assist in securing the placement of young Australian riders entering the professional ranks into appropriate teams, and in providing mentoring and advice during their period of transition.
SUPPORT The Australian Government expects CA to develop a formal mentoring and support program to assist the transition of riders to professional teams.

The ASC will work closely with CA in providing advice on the implementation of this recommendation.

4.8 Supporting athletes
CA give consideration to developing a policy whereby support can be given to:
4.8.1 Athletes in programs and on national teams in accessing educational and vocational training opportunities for a life after sport.
4.8.2 Athletes who are sanctioned for an anti-doping rule violation (ADRV) or for other forms of misconduct, including the provision of counselling and assistance with rehabilitation.
4.8.3 Athletes and others who provide information on doping activity pursuant to a whistle-blower protocol.
SUPPORT The Australian Government expects CA to provide greater support for athletes through the provision of training, counselling and other support activities.

The ASC and AIS will work closely with CA in providing advice on the implementation of this recommendation.

4.9 Sanctions and the Declaration Policy
4.9.1 CA develop, in consultation with the ASC, a process for dealing with cases where a person subject to its Declaration Policy refuses to provide a declaration, provides a declaration that is subsequently found to be untrue, or discloses a history of doping activity that falls outside the ASADA limitations period.
4.9.2 In addition to the sanction regime under the World Anti-Doping Code for ADRVs, CA develop and promulgate a clear and robust sanction regime for breaches of its Declaration Policy and its Anti-Doping Policy that provides a high level of deterrence and is proportionate to the particular breach.
4.9.3 To accommodate this process, CA introduce suitable amendments to its By-laws (or Constitution if incorporated as a company limited by guarantee), Anti-Doping Policy, Codes of Conduct and standard letters of engagement for employment of employees, contractors and officials.
SUPPORT The Australian Government expects CA to develop an appropriate sanction regime for breaches of its Declaration Policy or breaches of its anti-doping policy and relevant code of conduct that flow from the implementation of its Declaration Policy in line with these recommendations.

The Government notes that the panel to be established in line with recommendation 4.2 will have a significant role in the implementation of these recommendations.

The ASC and ASADA will work closely with CA and provide advice to assist CA give effect to these recommendations.

4.10 Strengthening the Australian Sports Anti-Doping Authority
In regard to ASADA's intelligence and investigation function and ASDMAC's TUE process, the ASADA Act and other relevant legislation be amended to:
4.10.1 Give ASADA a power, subject to appropriate protections, to compel persons to attend an interview with an investigator nominated by the Chief Executive Officer and to produce information and documents relevant to any inquiry that it is conducting under the NAD scheme.
4.10.2 Allow the dissemination of information obtained under compulsion to other agencies or authorities within the national and international anti-doping framework, as well as to the relevant national sporting organisation and the Anti- Doping Rule Violation Panel (ADRVP).
4.10.3 Remove any limitations on the powers of law enforcement and other federal statutory bodies to disseminate information to ASADA concerning the importation, purchase, receipt, transmission, possession or use of substances on the World Anti-Doping Agency (WADA) list of prohibited substances, following a request by ASADA based on a reasonable belief that they have been or may be associated with a possible breach of the NAD scheme.
4.10.4 Provide for the establishment of an independent review panel with the function of reviewing, based on the documents, any application by an athlete for a review of a refusal by Australian Sports Drug Medical Advisory Committee (ASDMAC) to grant a therapeutic use exemption (TUE).
AGREED The Australian Government will introduce a Bill which will improve ASADA's capacity to undertake investigations while maintaining the underlying principle of Australia's anti-doping arrangements that it is the responsibility of the sport to sanction the athlete.