Chiefs of Australian sporting codes, Sports Minister Kate Lundy, ASADA CEO Aurora Andruska, Minister for Justice Jason Clare and Australian Crime Commission CEO John Lawler speak to media representatives in Canberra today. (Photo by Stefan Postles/Getty Images)
A year-long government investigation has found widespread use
of banned drugs in Australian professional sport and links
with organised crime.
The Australian Crime Commission released the findings of a
12-month investigation into the integrity of Australian sport
and the relationship between professional sporting bodies,
prohibited substances and organised crime.
It said the links may have resulted in match-fixing and
fraudulent manipulation of betting markets.
The key findings of the investigation identified widespread
use of prohibited substances including peptides, hormones and
illicit drugs in professional sport.
It said that in some cases players were being administered
with substances that have not yet been approved for human
The ACC also identified organised crime identities and groups
that are involved in the distribution of PIEDS (Performance
and Image Enhancing Drugs), to athletes and professional
The ACC report noted increasing evidence of personal
relationships of concern between professional athletes and
organised criminal identities and groups.
"The ACC has found that professional sport in Australia is
highly vulnerable to infiltration by organised crime.
Multiple athletes from a number of clubs in major Australian
sporting codes are suspected of currently using or having
used peptides," Justice Minister Jason Clare said in a
The report concluded that some coaches, sports scientists and
support staff of elite athletes have orchestrated and/or
condoned the use of prohibited substances.
Some sports scientists have indicated a willingness to
administer substances to elite athletes which are untested or
not yet approved for human use.
The ACC said illicit drug use by professional athletes was
more prevalent than had been indicated by sports drugs
The report found that organised crime had an expanding role
in providing banned substances to athletes, and this was
facilitated by some coaches and support staff.
The ACC has referred its findings of suspected criminal
activity to the Australian Federal Police and state police
The Australian Sports Anti-Doping Authority (ASADA) and other
regulatory agencies will undertake more investigations on the
basis of the findings.
Clare said one possible case of match-fixing was already
under investigation, though he did not identify the sport.
"The findings are shocking and will disgust Australian sports
fans," Clare said.
Federal sports minister Kate Lundy said the government was
moving to introduce tough new measures to crack down on the
use of banned drugs and unethical behaviour in sport.
"Today is about the integrity of sport in Australia," Lundy
"... If you want to dope and cheat, we will catch you. If you
want to fix a match, we will catch you. And as you can see by
the investigations that have taken place, that we are well on
the way to seeking out and hunting down those who will dope
Lundy had introduced legislation this week to strengthen
ASADA's investigative powers and doubled its investigative
"If persons of interest refuse to cooperate with ASADA
investigations they will be liable for civil penalties," she
The Coalition of Major Professional and Participation Sports
(COMPPS) has agreed to several measures to assist the
The Coalition represents all the major sporting organisations
in Australia, including the AFL, NRL, FFA, ARU and Cricket
The individual bodies are to:
* Establish integrity units to deal with doping, betting and
* Cooperate with ASADA and law enforcement agencies in a
* Call on their athletes to come forward and own up to
wrongdoing and cooperate with investigators to possibly
* Enact a multi-code policy to share information and
implement doping sanctions across codes.
* Have zero tolerance for any support staff involved in
pedalling inappropriate substances and help ensure they are
not employed in other codes.