The Australian Institute of Sport (AIS) Athlete Code of Conduct (Code of Conduct) defines the standards of behaviour required from all AIS funded athletes, whilst in and out of competition. Being an elite athlete brings with it responsibility – to one’s self, the sport and Australia. Elite athletes are role models in society, and as such are expected to uphold integrity, professionalism and demonstrate positive behaviour through personal excellence. AIS funded athletes are expected to abide by the Code of Conduct and demonstrate its values and behaviours at all times.
The AIS expects that all AIS funded athletes conduct themselves in a manner that promotes the following key values:
- ethical decision making
Standards of behaviour and obligations
1. Pursue athletic excellence with integrity and sportsmanship
- AIS funded athletes must promote a professional sportsmanlike manner at all times, upholding the highest standards of professional conduct and integrity, including:
- Train and perform towards achieving full potential in the athlete's sport;
- Maintain a lifestyle conducive to sporting excellence;
- Abide by both the rules and spirit of the sport, including both national and international guidelines;
- Show due regard for the equipment, properties and facilities provided by the AIS for the benefit of the athlete;
- Accept victory and defeat with dignity and grace; and
- Comply with the imposed policies or rules of the AIS, the relevant National Sporting Organisation (NSO), or other relevant organisations, including any anti-doping, matchfixing and member protection policies.
- It is a breach of this Code of Conduct for an Athlete to:
- Display, either intentionally or unintentionally, excessive disagreement with the decisions made by officials during competitions, or otherwise act in a manner unbecoming an elite level athlete;
- Bring, or act in a way that may be seen to bring the sport, the athlete or the AIS into disrepute;
- Possess or use illegal or prohibited drugs or other substances, or otherwise violate the anti-doping policy or illicit drugs policy of the athlete’s sport;
- Accept, offer or be involved in (whether directly or indirectly) any inducement or bribe in relation to performance of the athlete or any other athlete in an event; or
- Enter any bet, wager or any other form of financial speculation, on or in respect of any game, match, competition or event in which the athlete is part.
2. Behave in a professional respectful manner
- AIS funded athletes must behave in a respectful manner towards those they interact with both in and out of competition, including:
- Treat people with respect and dignity, regardless of their cultural or contextual circumstances;
- Act with care and diligence in the performance of all duties to safeguard the health and safety of themselves and others;
- Show concern, empathy and caution towards others that may be sick or injured; or
- Treat people involved in any sport with fairness, courtesy and proper regard for their rights and reputation.
- It is a breach of this Code of Conduct for an athlete to:
- Behave in a manner that is regarded as physical, emotional, racial, religious or sexual harassment, or harassment of any other protected characteristic, towards athletes, coaches, officials, spectators or bystanders;
- Behave in a manner that is regarded as public or domestic violence; or
- Make comments, whether in person or by email, text, social media, or other means which are (or could reasonably be interpreted as being) discriminatory, racist, homophobic, sexist, bullying, harassment or vilification.
3. Act in accordance with the expectations of being a community role model
- AIS funded athletes must observe the expectations of being a community role model and behave in a manner which promotes and strengthens the good reputation of the AIS and the athlete’s relevant sport. AIS funded athletes should behave in a manner both on and off the field that meets community standards, including:
- Behave in a way that meets community expectations of an AIS high performance athlete;
- Be a positive role model for the sport and promote the values, rules and spirit of the relevant sport;
- Be professional and accept responsibility for their actions;
- Report any breaches of this Code of Conduct to the AIS;
- Not engage in, or encourage participation in, activities that are unlawful or that are lawful yet bring the sport or yourself into disrepute; and
- Behave and dress in a dignified manner when representing Australia both in and out of competition.
- It is a breach of this Code of Conduct for an athlete to:
- Behave in a manner that creates a public nuisance, and/or public disturbance (including but not limited to behaviour during domestic or international travel);
- Bully or intimidate other AIS athletes or AIS or Sport Australia (SA) staff members, representatives or volunteers;
- Publish or encourage the publication of, offensive, hateful or distressing material on social media (such as tweeting or re-tweeting an indecent or offensive comment);
- Make adverse public comments concerning the AIS, an NSO or the relevant sport; v. Be publicly drunk, or be in the possession of or under the influence of an illegal or illicit drug; or
- Commit a criminal offence, or be charged with the commission of a criminal offence, under Australian State, Territory or Federal laws.
4. General matters
- AIS athletes must:
- Be mindful that sexual or intimate relationships between athletes and AIS staff members can be perceived to be exploitative due to the (actual or potential) status, influence and dependence between the athlete and staff member. Where such a relationship is entered, it is advisable that it is disclosed by the athlete to their relevant AIS contact in order to eliminate any perceived conflict of interest;
- Behave in a manner that adheres to Sport Australia's (SA) Child Safe Sport Code of Behaviour whenever interacting with children in or at any AIS or SA endorsed events or activities;
- Abide by the terms of the dAIS Athlete Agreement;
- Wear the required uniform or identification tags/passes (if any) only while involved in AIS or SA endorsed events or programs, or to travel to and from that activity.
Breaches of the code of conduct
- Any behavior that breaches, or is suspected of breaching this Code of Conduct must be reported to the AIS immediately. The AIS may undertake an investigation into the alleged breaches to determine whether a breach has occurred.
- Breaches or suspected breaches of this Code of Conduct will be processed and considered by the AIS in accordance with the process in the dAIS Athlete Breach of Agreement Guidelines. c. Where, after consideration in accordance with the dAIS Athlete Breach of Agreement Guidelines (including any appeal (if any)), the AIS determines that a breach of this Code of Conduct has occurred, one or more of the following actions may be applied by the AIS in the AIS’ absolute discretion:
- Behavioral counselling or education to the athlete;
- Direct the athlete to issue an apology or public statement;
- Financial penalties or sanctions such as the repayment of finances or funding previously provided by the AIS or SA to the athlete (eg. dAIS grants);
- Temporary or permanent suspension of any benefits being provided to the athlete by the AIS including but not limited to dAIS grants, gym access, access to physio, dietician, medical etc). Any conditions for reinstatement of the benefits will be notified to the athlete at the commencement of the period of suspension; or
- Referral to disciplinary proceedings in accordance with the AIS, SA or the NSO’s Disciplinary Procedure, Code of Conduct or Member Protection Policy, as the case may be.
This Code of Conduct may be reviewed as required by the AIS or SA (for example due to any changes in the structure of the organisations or the occurrence of incidents not covered by this Code).