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Legislative Assembly for the ACT: 1999 Week 11 Hansard (21 October) . . Page.. 3422 ..

MR STEFANIAK (continuing):

The Drugs in Sport Bill 1999 is complementary to the Commonwealth Australian Sports Drug Agency Act 1990 (ASDA Act). The Bill has been developed in line with the national framework on drugs in sport which ensures that athletes throughout Australia who are subject to testing programs are treated in a consistent manner. The framework aims for a coordinated national approach with commonality in legislation, particularly as to the definition of athletes liable to be tested and special considerations for the rights of children.

There has been substantial public consultation on the proposed policy and the mechanics of a local drug testing program over several years. Two major issues arising from this consultation are addressed in the Bill: The testing of children and the need for an agreement with ASDA on the necessary funding and operational arrangements for the testing program. ACT athletes currently eligible for testing as national level competitors include those competing, or training to compete, at international level competitions and competing in competitions such as national championships and national leagues.

This includes all of our ACT Academy of Sport athletes who receive full scholarships participating at national and international level. They are the target group for ASDA's drug testing and education programs in the ACT. ACT competitors are defined in this Bill as:

persons (individuals or team members) who represent the ACT in an open age sporting competition (open to persons of any age who are competing either as individuals at the top level for a sport, or as members of the top team for a sport);

persons who are included in a squad from which ACT representatives may be selected;

individuals or team members receiving direct support under an ACT government sports assistance program; and

any person whose name is entered on the national register of notifiable events and thus ineligible to represent the ACT in an open age sporting competition.

This is an expanded target group for ASDA's education and testing programs. To protect the new group of athletes affected by the legislation, athletes under 18 who are selected for testing may be only be requested to provide a sample with the consent of the athlete and the athlete's parent or legal guardian. All sampling, testing, recording and reporting procedures will be in accordance with the privacy guidelines specified in the ASDA Act 1990. ASDA will not be permitted to collect samples for any other purpose.

The proposed legislation will provide for ASDA to test ACT athletes anywhere in Australia. The functions which ASDA will be able to carry out in relation to an ACT drug sampling and testing program are:

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