Australian athletes competing at the upcoming 2014 Olympic Winter Games in Sochi, Russia, will be the first to sign statutory declarations saying they have no history of doping in sport.
AUS TEAM: Australian athletes competing at the upcoming 2014 Olympic Winter Games in Sochi, Russia, will be the first to sign statutory declarations saying they have no history of doping in sport.
The Australian Olympic Committee Executive has unanimously approved the introduction of statutory declarations regarding anti-doping matters for all athletes and officials seeking membership of an Australian Olympic Team or Shadow Team.
AOC President, John Coates, has put member Olympic sports on notice in a letter saying, "it is the responsibility of each National Federation to ensure that all athletes and officials make the statutory declaration when required."
All members of the AOC's Executive, its committees and commission as well as AOC staff will also be required to make the statutory declaration. Members of the AOC Executive will be asked to sign in the coming weeks.
The penalties are harsh for all involved.
Any person who wilfully and corruptly makes a false statutory declaration knowing it to be untrue will be guilty of a criminal offence and could face up to 5 years imprisonment.
Any person who does not make the statutory declaration will be ineligible for membership of any Australian Olympic Team or Shadow Team. Likewise any funding would be withheld and they would be prevented from holding any position within the AOC.
The AOC intends to share information with ASADA relating to the statutory declarations.
"Consistent with our obligations under the WADA Code to co-operate with ASADA and vigorously pursue all potential anti-doping rule violations," Coates said.
"This may include verifying the contents of a statutory declaration, reporting suspected false declarations, or identifying instances where a person or group of persons refuses to sign the statutory declaration altogether".
Coates proposed the new measure in the wake of the Lance Armstrong doping scandal. Over the past few months the AOC has drafted changes to its Ethical Behaviour By-Law and the Olympic Team Selection By-Law to accommodate the introduction of the statutory declarations.
He has also campaigned for over a decade for stronger powers to investigate doping by compelling witnesses to give evidence and produce documents relating to such investigations.
The Federal Government has now introduced into the Senate the Sports Anti-Doping Amendment Bill which, if passed, will provide greater investigative powers and the possibility of civil penalties for non-co-operation.
The AOC is currently preparing a submission and Coates will attend a public hearing in Canberra on March 1st.
All documents including a copy of the statutory declaration, which has 3 parts, are available on the AOC website.
Please see the link below.