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Guidelines to assist sporting boards with integrity oversight

09 May 2016

Australian Sports Commission (ASC) Chair John Wylie AM has released a set of new practical guidelines which will be provided to every sport and professional club in Australia to assist leaders with the management and oversight of integrity issues confronting sport.

Wylie will write to the presidents of all Australian national sporting organisations and more than 70 professional clubs to launch Integrity guidelines for directors and leaders of sporting organisations, a practical roadmap and support reference for sports to further strengthen their own integrity frameworks.

“In the past three years as Chair of the ASC I’ve received regular feedback from directors – many volunteers - about the challenges of overseeing integrity issues,” Wylie said.

“These new guidelines are a practical form of support, providing sample questions that any director who sits on a sporting board can ask of themselves, their executive team and their sport. The guidelines cover a broad range of integrity issues including anti-doping, sport science and medicine, illicit drugs, match-fixing, child protection and member protection.”

The ASC works with a broad range of sports and has identified sound governance as a common feature of sustained success. These guidelines have been developed as a way of providing support to directors in discharging their duties.

“Invariably when sporting organisations confront problems - whether it be integrity issues or financial management - a lack of good governance has been evident,” Wylie said.

“Modern-day sport is a complex environment and the reality is that most board directors are volunteers. The ASC considers part of its role is to provide practical assistance to directors and leaders of sport.

ASC CEO Simon Hollingsworth said he was confident the guidelines would help leaders combat the ever-present threats to integrity that can undermine the credibility and appeal of sport.

“Working in collaboration with our partner agencies such as the Australian Sports Anti-Doping Authority (ASADA) and the National Integrity of Sport Unit (NISU), I’m confident that a more focused attention on integrity issues will benefit the sector and enhance the reputation of Australian sport.

“Laws can be strengthened, sanctions increased or stricter compliance introduced, but the most effective tool in the fight to protect sporting integrity is for every leader to be more proactive in identifying and reducing threats to the integrity of sport.”

The ASC, ASADA and NISU are developing more resources to complement the new guidelines, which includes developing an e-learning module posing integrity-based scenarios and staging integrity forums for sport directors.

Hollingsworth said: “Protecting the integrity of sport is an important ethical issue. It can have commercial impact too, affecting areas such as sponsorship, membership and participation.

“I encourage sports to use these guidelines for the better protection of your sport, athletes, members, fans and stakeholders.”

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