Government Responds to the Wood Review - Australia's Sports Integrity Arrangements

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The Hon. Bridget McKenzie, Minister for Sport, yesterday released the Government Response to the Review of Australia’s Sports Integrity Arrangements (also known as the Wood Review).

The Government has supported the recommendations provided in the Wood Review in their detailed response, which broadly covers the following key pillars:

National Sports Integrity Commission

ASADA, the National Integrity of Sport Unit and the national sports integrity functions of Sport Australia will be amalgamated into one body to be named 'Sport Integrity Australia'. This is being established to support all sports integrity stakeholders to manage the range of existing and emerging integrity-related issues.

The establishment of Sport Integrity Australia will provide an all-encompassing single point of reference and a streamlined approach to integrity-related issues, which will offer greater access to integrity education and advice, at all levels. This exciting announcement will give sports the opportunity to share resources and receive the benefit of experience across the sport sector. It is important that sporting organisations supplement this service with legal advice on accessing, implementing, or understanding integrity-related information or education released by Sport Integrity Australia to ensure best practice.

National Sports Tribunal

A National Sports Tribunal (NST) will be established to provide an accessible forum for all sports in Australia to resolve their sports integrity disputes. The NST, which will be piloted for two years, will hear sports-related disputes (including anti-doping rule violation matters) and will provide various dispute-resolution methods including conciliation, mediation and arbitration. This forum will ensure that appropriate processes are followed, that there is an opportunity to be heard, and that an unbiased decision-maker is used and, therefore, natural justice is provided.

The NST will provide sporting organisations with access to efficient and cost-effective resolution of disputes resulting in administrative and financial savings. We see the NST as providing much-needed support to sports governing bodies and leagues so that tribunal resources can be shared, reducing the need for each sport to operate its own tribunal and appeal process.

Convention on the manipulation of sports competitions

The Minister has signed the Macolin Convention which is aimed at combatting match-fixing and related corruption in sport. Becoming a party to the Macolin Convention is said to support national match-fixing criminal legislation.

Australia is the first nation outside of Europe to become a signatory to the Convention.

Enhanced anti-doping and criminal intelligence capabilities

The Government has committed to investing a further two-years of funding to maintain enhanced capabilities and protect sport from doping and sports wagering-related corruption.

Reforming sports wagering to protect the integrity of sport

The Government will conduct significant stakeholder engagement with a view to consistently and proactively detect and respond to wagering-related match-fixing. This will involve the issuing of alerts to stakeholders, and ensuring that law enforcement and/or sports organisations respond where corruption may be indicated.

If you would like to discuss the Government response in more detail to understand what it means for your organisation, please reach out to a member of our Sport Leisure & Tourism sector group.

All information on this site is of a general nature only and is not intended to be relied upon as, nor to be a substitute for, specific legal professional advice. No responsibility for the loss occasioned to any person acting on or refraining from action as a result of any material published can be accepted.

Key contacts

Johnathan Quilty

Partner & Practice Group Leader