When the ASADA Act was introduced to the Parliament, the following claims were made (emphasis added):
The establishment of ASADA will mean that sports, athletes and the public can have complete confidence that doping allegations will be investigated and pursued in an independent, robust and transparent way.
ASADA’s establishment represents the next step forward in strengthening Australia’s already world-class anti-doping regime.
In the event of serious allegations of doping infractions by athletes, Australia will have in place an integrated system to respond vigorously from the outset – from collecting, preserving and analysis of evidence to making recommendations on its findings and carrying a case to a tribunal hearing if required.
The creation of ASADA will enhance Australia’s compliance with the World Anti-Doping Code, and will strategically implement the UNESCO International Convention Against Doping In Sport, once ratified by Australia.
The creation of ASADA, more broadly, represents a tough response to doping in sport and a response that treats all athletes fairly.
Perhaps former Senator Chris Ellison could explain how and why the ASADA investigations into Essendon were “independent, robust and transparent” and “treat[ed] all athletes fairly”.
I’m also wondering about this:
It also stipulates the rights that athletes will have in relation to ASADA decisions. Athletes will have access to established external review mechanisms in relation to any ASADA investigation (including a test or the testing process) including the Commonwealth Ombudsman, the Administrative Appeals Tribunal and the Federal Court or Federal Magistrates Court under the Administrative Decisions (Judicial Review) Act 1977.
Further, the Bill contains appropriate privacy safeguards for athletes and sporting support personnel – the Privacy Act 1988 will apply to ASADA’s advocacy, education, drug testing, investigative and reporting functions, and any other operations where ASADA is required to collect and deal with sensitive information.
Taken together, these provisions will continue to ensure that athletes’ rights are protected under the new anti-doping regime.
The most astonishing thing is how little scrutiny the ASADA Act had going through the Parliament – passed within weeks (including holiday breaks) of being introduced, with only two speeches in the Parliament and no amendments as far as I can see. I suspect this is one of those pieces of legislation that nobody actually read before it passed into law. Any MP who did read it is welcome to write a rebuttal.