Australian Rugby Union supports Federal Government initiatives to ensure the integrity of professional sports is rigorously protected.
Findings from an Australian Crime Commission investigation were released today sparking a joint approach from Australia’s major professional sports and the Federal Government to deal with concerns around performance enhancing drugs and the risks of organised crime infiltration.
ARU CEO Bill Pulver joined other major professional sport Chief Executives in Canberra to announce initiatives in conjunction with the Federal Government.
“The report is a wake-up call for all professional sports, and this is a whole of sport approach,” Mr Pulver said.
“There are no investigations on foot in regards to Rugby, but there can be no room for complacency.
“ARU will provide co-operation and assistance to the relevant authorities to ensure full transparency, along with other member sports of COMPPS (Coalition of Major Professional and Participation Sports).
“The ARU supports the Federal Government’s approach as the ultimate benefit for all major sports is delivering confidence to the community that we are providing fair and level playing fields for our participants.
“ARU condemns the use of performance enhancing drugs and doping practices in sport so the implications are that we will be living that position statement through our support for the Government’s initiatives.
“Vigilance is the key and this is about making a stand to provide further deterrents and processes to protect the integrity of sport.
“ARU appointed an Integrity Manager three years ago. Phil Thomson is a former Australian Federal Police detective and a former Wallabies and Brumbies team manager.”
There will be more than 220 drug tests carried out in 2013 across Wallabies, Super Rugby and the Australian Men’s and Women’s Sevens teams. Players from those teams involved in offshore matches will also be subject to drug testing in those overseas territories.
Additionally, ARU has an illicit drugs policy with a strong focus on welfare and education across all levels of Australian Rugby.
Mr Pulver said anyone involved in sport will welcome additional measures that provide the public with confidence about the integrity of sport and its participants.
“ARU is committed to working with the Federal Government, the Australian Sports Anti-Doping Authority and law enforcement agencies on further initiatives,” he said.
The ACC investigation examined four key areas:
The market for Performance and Image Enhancing Drugs (PIEDs)
The involvement of organised crime 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