What is Sport Integrity?
In today’s world, sports face a number of integrity threats that can seriously impact their athletes, employees, volunteers and fans, as well as the very competition they run. Each day we see media reports of physical and online abuse of athletes, the infiltration of match-fixing to alter the outcomes of sporting competitions and the use of doping to win at all costs.
To provide surfing at all levels with guidance in the integrity space, Sport Integrity Australia has developed a suite of 6 policies under the National Integrity Framework.
Each policy covers Definitions, Jurisdiction, Prohibited Conduct and Obligations. The items Prohibited Conduct and Obligations are important as they detail the behaviours and expectations placed on participants and organisations.
Surfing Australia takes integrity seriously.
All our members and participants have an obligation to protect and maintain the integrity of surfing, as well as the health and wellbeing of our athletes. We work closely with Sport Integrity Australia, the national agency established to protect sport against integrity threats. For more information visit the Sport Integrity Australia website.
What’s Not Covered by the Framework.
The Framework was never intended to cover every matter considered an integrity issue. While the Framework covers a broad range of topics, there are several elements that fall outside of its scope, including:
- Whistleblower disclosures
- Selection disputes
- Australia Personal Grievance Policy
- Code of Conduct breaches
- Governance misconduct
- Employment disputes
- Competition-related rules
- Anti-doping (these matters are managed under the Anti-Doping Policy provided by Sport Integrity Australia).
For these matters, Surfing Australia have our own policies and procedures in place to manage issues as they arise which can be found here.
Surfing Australia’s National Integrity Framework.
The National Integrity Framework (NIF) was adopted by Surfing Australia to provide surfing with a system to proactively mitigate integrity threats, which in turn provides a safe, fair and inclusive environment for participants, staff & stakeholders at all levels of surfing.
This framework has been implemented to ensure a safe and fun, environment for everyone involved in surfing, from learning to surfers all the way through to our Olympians, and everyone in between.
The Framework is made up of 5 policies:
- Member Protection Policy
- Child Safeguarding Policy
- Competition Manipulation & Sport Wagering Policy
- Improper Use of Drugs & Medicine Policy
- Complaints, Disputes & Discipline Policy
The Framework intends to offer Surfing a streamlined approach to tackling integrity threats and a clear and independent process for managing potential breaches of integrity policies.
National Integrity Framework
The National Integrity Framework is the overarching governance document for managing and bringing to life the Framework and its integrity policies. This document outlines the definitions, jurisdiction, scope, education requirements and reporting responsibilities for the Framework and integrity policies.
The document outlines the key responsibilities of Surfing Australia as well as defines what constitutes Prohibited Conduct. Responsibilities for Surfing Australia include:
- The requirement to have a designated National Integrity Manager who is responsible for the implementation of the Framework.
- The requirement to have a designated Complaints Manager for the purpose of managing the organisation’s obligations under the Complaints, Disputes and Discipline Policy.
- Being able to define Relevant Persons and Relevant Organisations as it relates to their sport within the Framework.
Prohibited Conduct under the Framework includes:
- Failure to report prohibited conduct under the Framework or associated integrity policies
- Failure to comply with or enforce sanctions under the Framework
- Deliberately withholding or providing inaccurate information during proceedings
The Member Protection Policy ensures everyone in surfing is treated with respect and dignity and is protected from discrimination, harassment, bullying and abuse. The policy also highlights the key legal and ethical rights and responsibilities, as well as the standards of behaviour expected of everyone involved in Surfing.
Prohibited Conduct under the policy includes:
- Abuse – including physical, emotional, psychological or sexual abuse,
- Bullying and the inappropriate use of power, where actions are repeated and deliberate
- Harassment – including unwanted behaviours which are reasonably likely to cause harm Sexual harassment and sexual offences
- Discrimination – either deliberate or inadvertent
- Victimisation of anyone who chooses to make a complaint or plans to
- Vilification of anyone based on a particular characteristic, as covered by legislation
The Member Protection Policy only applies in relation to direct involvement in a Surfing activity or Surf event. If an interaction has no clear link to a Surfing event or activity, the Member Protection Policy may not apply and may be more appropriately dealt with under a different policy, code of conduct or other surfing rules.
The section of the policy covering Prohibited Conduct should be read in conjunction with Schedule 1, which provides examples and the thresholds for the prohibited conduct.
Child Safeguarding Policy
Children have the right to take part in surfing in a safe, positive and enjoyable environment. The Child Safeguarding Policy is part of Surfing Australia’s proactive and preventative approach to upholding its commitment to the safety, wellbeing, participation, and empowerment of all children who access Surfing through:
- Child safe practices and prohibited conduct, including examples
- Obligations on sporting organisations in relation to mandatory reporting, responding to allegations of prohibited conduct and implementing a commitment to child safety and child safe practices
- The process for the recruitment and screening of volunteers and employees, including conducting working with children checks
- The process for responding to and reporting child abuse allegations. This policy aligns with the National Principles for Child Safe Organisations that were developed as a recommendation from the Royal Commission into Institutional Responses to Child Sexual Abuse.
Prohibited Conduct under the policy includes:
- Child abuse – including physical, emotional, psychological and sexual abuse, as well as neglect and exposure to family violence
- Misconduct with a child – including age-inappropriate behaviour, or behaviour that places the child at risk of harm
- Asking a child to keep any communication secret
- Supplying alcohol, drugs (including tobacco), or medicines, except with appropriate consent and under a valid prescription
- Failing to comply with recruitment and screening requirements
- Failing to report a breach of prohibited conduct
- Breaching any of the child safe practices which cover actions such as: photographing/filming children, travel arrangements, overnight stays, change room arrangements, electronic and online communications, discipline and physical contact, amongst others.
Competition Manipulation & Sport Wagering Policy
The manipulation of surfing competitions (or related activities) through things like match-fixing, inside information or tanking, undermines the integrity of competition and can also be a crime and punishable by law.
Prohibited Conduct under the Competition Manipulation and Sport Wagering Policy can include:
- Improperly altering the result or course of an activity in order to remove all or part of the unpredictable nature of the activity to obtain a benefit for themselves or others. Examples may include, but are not limited to, intentionally conceding points, pre-arranging the outcome of a competition, deliberate underperformance (also known as tanking) and intentionally unfair or incorrect officiating
- Betting on your own sport, or entering into any other form of financial speculation on an activity
- Disclosure of inside information connected to the conduct, management or organisation of a sporting event that is not generally publicly available
- Failure to promptly report any information obtained in relation to competition manipulation. For example, failing to report that a player was approached to fix a competition.
The policy also imposes obligations in relation to commercial arrangements with Wagering Service Providers, reporting breaches, and the sharing of information with relevant regulatory and law enforcement agencies.
Improper Use of Drugs & Medicine Policy
The Improper Use of Drugs and Medicine Policy aims to mitigate the risks associated with the misuse and maladministration of drugs, non-compliant supplements and medicines in surfing. The policy also recognises that illegal drugs represent a widespread community problem that can pose a serious health issue for individuals and seeks to deter those involved in surfing from the use of such substances.
The policy places obligations on sports to ensure that:
- Sports science and sports medicine services are provided by appropriately qualified and supervised staff
- Supplement use follows a best practice, evidence-based approach to reducing risk to athletes, including the risk of inadvertent doping
- Medications are used appropriately
- Injections are only administered as part of appropriate medical treatment.
This policy allows Surfing Australia to determine which athletes (i.e. Relevant Athletes) are bound by this policy. At a minimum, it is suggested Relevant Athletes include international-level athletes (those competing for Australia at international events).
Prohibited Conduct under the policy includes:
- A criminal conviction relating to or involving an illegal drug
- Use of prescription or over-the-counter medication in an unlawful manner
- Unauthorised injection or possession of hypodermic needles or other injection equipment
- Supplying or providing non-compliant supplements to a Relevant Athlete.
Complaints, Disputes and Discipline Policy
The Complaints, Disputes and Discipline Policy sets out the process for resolving complaints and imposing disciplinary action arising from an individual or organisation engaging in prohibited conduct under the Framework and associated integrity policies.
The policy has been designed in collaboration with the National Sports Tribunal, to ensure that sport integrity-related complaints are dealt with independently and consistently to ensure a fair and effective resolution.
Surfing has opted-in to the independent complaint management system, managed by Sport Integrity Australia, which will ensure complaints are dealt with transparently and in the most appropriate manner.
Sport Integrity Australia and National Integrity Managers will continue to be involved in investigating all child safeguarding matters and member protection matters based on features including race, disability, sex, age, and religion.
This means that Complaints about Prohibited Conduct under the Child Safeguarding policy or alleged Discrimination under the Member Protection Policy will continue to be managed by Sport Integrity Australia
The policy includes:
- The process for complaint management such as initial threshold questions, assessment process and resolution phase
- Provides several options to resolve an issue: Alternative Dispute Resolution; Breach Notice; or Hearing Tribunal (internal or via the National Sports Tribunal)
- Key responsibilities for the National Sporting Organisation’s Complaint Manager, such as the issuing of Breach Notices, arranging Alternate Dispute Resolution and enforcing sanctions.
In addition, Sport Integrity Australia will no longer be involved in the imposition of provisional action and sanctions in all National Integrity Framework matters. Rather, Sport Integrity Australia will provide sports with a sanctions framework to help determine appropriate consistent provisional action and sanctions in individual cases. Where Sport Integrity Australia investigates a complaint aligned with a relevant human rights obligation, it will supply a report to the sport with the relevant information to assist sports to determine the appropriate action under the sanctions framework.
Lodging A Complaint
Below are some simple tips to remember when considering lodging a complaint with Sport Integrity Australia.
- Anyone can make a complaint.
- Only complaints about alleged conduct under the Child Safeguarding Policy or Discrimination based on Protected Characteristics including race, disability, sex, religion or age can be submitted to Sport Integrity Australia.
- Complaints can only be actioned if the person who allegedly committed the behaviour is bound by our sport (i.e. they must have agreed to be bound by the policy via membership or agreement).
- Complaints relating to Selections, Governance, Personal Grievances, Whistle-blower, or Code of Conduct are not covered under the National Integrity Framework. Complaints of this nature should be submitted to your State Sporting Organisation or to Surfing Australia Complaint manager
Below are some factsheets to assist with the complaint process:
- National Integrity Framework Complaints Process: Step-By-Step
- Complaints, Disputes & Discipline Policy Case Categorisation Guidelines
- Standards & Prohibited Conduct
If you are unsure about the framework or a potential policy breach, please contact Surfing Australia at firstname.lastname@example.org
“If you see something, say something”
To report a breach of an integrity policy, submit directly to Sport Integrity Australia via:
- Sport Integrity Australia website
- Phone: 13 000 27232
Or contact Surfing Australia at email@example.com
Make an integrity complaint or report
Education, Resources, and Awareness
When it comes to sport integrity, it is critical that our athletes and support personnel are aware of their rights and responsibilities. There is a range of tools and resources available to help keep participants informed.
Sport Integrity Australia eLearning offers a number of online courses relating to sport integrity, including doping, match fixing, illicit drugs and ethical decision-making courses. Specific anti-doping courses are also available for coaches, support persons, medical practitioners and parents.
Sport Integrity app
The Sport Integrity app is a one-stop shop for all sport integrity needs, designed with athletes in mind.
The app allows users to check whether their medications are banned in sport, find low risk supplements to reduce their change of testing positive accidentally, and check whether they need a Therapeutic Use Exemption. The app also provides direction on how to raise concerns about things like doping, match-fixing, harassment or illicit drug use. It features further information on eLearning modules, whereabouts and testing information and gives users the opportunity to provide feedback to Sport Integrity Australia.
Prohibited List of substances and methods
The Prohibited List outlines the substances and methods that are prohibited in sport. It is updated annually by the World Anti-Doping Agency. Remember that individual products or brands are not named on the Prohibited List. Athletes should check the status of all medications before they use them on GlobalDRO.
Checking your Substances
Global DRO allows users to check whether the most commonly prescribed and over-the-counter medicines in Australia are permitted or prohibited in sport.
If an athlete requires the use of a prohibited substance to treat a medical condition, the athlete needs to be aware of the Therapeutic Use Exemption (TUE) requirements. For more information on Therapeutic Use Exemptions visit Sport Integrity Australia’s website.
Keep up to date with all that is happening in sport integrity by following Sport Integrity Australia on Facebook, Twitter, Instagram and Sport Integrity Australia – YouTube or listening to On Side, the official podcast of Sport Integrity Australia.
Anti-doping rules apply to all participants of our sport from the elite down to the grassroots. All members must be aware of and have a basic understanding of, their obligations in regard to anti-doping. The Sport Integrity Australia website has a range of information and resources to assist, including: