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Oversight and reporting

Principle 5: Sporting organisations should implement a reporting framework to assist their board and senior management to discharge their obligations to be informed about and to oversee the organisation’s SSSM practices.

Commentary and guidance

The board and senior management of a sporting organisation both have a positive obligation to inform themselves as to SSSM practices of the organisation, to ensure they are best practice, promote a culture of integrity and to comply with legislative and regulatory requirements.  “Don’t ask, don’t tell” is not an acceptable position to adopt.  Accordingly, boards should ensure that appropriate reporting processes are in place.

Responsibilities of the Board

Sporting organisations must establish a periodic reporting system whereby the board (possibly through its audit and risk committee) is provided with information detailing the use of supplements and prescription medications by athletes over the reporting period, and any variances over the preceding 12 months.  The reporting period may vary based on the size and risk profile of the organisation, but should be quarterly for larger and/or high risk organisations and at least annually for smaller and/or low risk organisations.

At a minimum, the board should seek the following information from management:

  • How many new board members, employees, coaches and athletes have commenced with the organisation over the reporting period and of those, how many have undergone an induction process including familiarisation with the SSSM policies and anti doping policy.
  • Any change in key personnel involved in the organisation’s SSSM program.
  • If all SSSM staff, including consultants, have had full background checks before being hiring.
  • If all SSSM staff  are appropriately qualified and, if applicable, accredited by an industry accreditation body.
  • If all SSSM staff are employed on either employment agreements making them bound by the organisation’s SSSM policies, or engaged under contracts requiring them to comply with the SSSM policies and including a right of termination in the event of breach.
  • If any external SSSM consultants have been engaged, and if so in what capacity.
  • Where a search program exists, how many searches have been conducted over the reporting period on athlete accommodation.
  • If any policy breaches been detected in the reporting period.
  • Identification of any reports of suspected breaches and subsequent management action taken during the period.
  • If current information on the SSSM policies is up to date and available.
  • How many athletes are currently listed on the organisation’s self-injection register.
  • If information on the Supplementation Protocol is accurate and up to date.
  • A listing of supplements/medication being overseen and distributed by the organisation during the reporting period, and identification of variances in year to year usage.
  • A summary of any Therapeutic Use Exemption (TUE) administered during the reporting period, including the circumstances of their use and sign-off by the administering doctor, and identification of variances in year to year TUE usage.
  • Financial analysis of organisational expenditure on supplements/medication.

In addition, the board should at least annually ask specific questions of management for independent assurance on SSSM integrity.

The report should detail any other matters of known or suspected issues in relation to the organisation’s SSSM policies, anti-doping policy and/or reported misuse of prescription medication.

This report should be signed off as true and accurate by management on the same basis as financial reporting, with an assurance that all SSSM practices during the period have complied with the organisation’s SSSM policies and anti-doping policy.

Responsibilities of Management

To facilitate the board’s oversight function, management should have an appropriate process in place to collect and provide relevant information to the board on a periodic reporting basis.

This process should be communicated to athletes and relevant staff as applicable, including:

  • a reminder of supplement/medication program principles and goals
  • expected practice (including a statement reminding all athletes and staff not to engage in the process of taking or acquiring supplements/medications from sources external to the organisation without consulting and receiving documented approval from the organisation)
  • key documents required from each tier of the organisation
  • personnel responsible for specific signoffs and authorisation at each tier of the organisation
  • a confidential reporting process that encourages a culture of openness and overall athlete wellbeing as a top priority of the organisation.

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