The New Zealand Olympic Committee (NZOC) has made significant changes to athlete and sport obligations under its Integrity Regulation, as the organisation helps in the global fight for a clean field of play.
Better protection for whistleblowers, more effective doping sanctioning, and increased corruption reporting guidelines for sports and athletes are among the new obligations for the NZOC and its 57 Member Federations.
The updates were approved by the NZOC Board and will come into effect ahead of the upcoming Tokyo Olympic Games, Beijing Winter Olympic Games and the Birmingham 2022 Commonwealth Games.
The key changes relate to the revised World Anti-Doping Code, which comes into force in January 2021, and the recently amended Olympic Movement Code for the Manipulation of Competitions.
WADA Athlete Committee Chair and NZOC Athletes' Commission and Integrity Committee Member Ben Sandford says the updated 2021 World Anti-Doping Code further strengthens the fight against drug cheats and better protects clean athletes.
“The 2021 Code and is a significant step forward for athletes, there are a lot of improvements particularly around athletes’ rights,” said Sandford.
“In New Zealand, we continue to lead the way in our stand against doping and I’m extremely pleased the NZOC is completely onboard.”
The new obligations under the revised NZOC Integrity Regulation also ensure high integrity standards apply across all directors, employees and members of the support teams. Additionally, the new regulations require Member Federations to reinforce their own corruption reporting obligations, with a stronger obligation on athletes to report any doping they may be aware of.
The new WADA Code and new obligations for the NZOC also allows for more lenient sanctioning for recreational drugs.
NZOC CEO Kereyn Smith says the changes show the organisation continues to be committed to protecting the integrity of competitions.
“These changes underscore our commitment, our athletes commitment, and our national sporting organisations commitment to ensure we’re doing all we can in the fight against doping and sport corruption at every level,” said Smith.
“We know that doping and corruption is a huge problem internationally, so we’ve drawn on our international connections and expertise to make sure we’re leading from the front and doing everything we can to eradicate these practices and educate our athletes.
“We acknowledge the important role of Drug Free Sport NZ and thank them for their ongoing efforts to protect our athletes. We look forward to continuing to work with them the relevant international bodies to help ensure compliance in New Zealand.”
The changes to the Integrity Regulation were recommended by the NZOC Integrity Committee which is made up of NZOC President Mike Stanley, Board Members Maria Clarke and Liz Dawson, and NZOC Athletes’ Commission Member Ben Sandford.
The updated NZOC Integrity Regulation can be accessed here.