Australian Greens spokesperson for sport, Senator Richard Di Natale, said today that the Greens cannot support the government’s ASADA bill, which would create new coercive powers.
“The Greens are absolutely committed to protecting the integrity of sport but it should not be done at the expense of important legal rights and protections,” said Senator Di Natale, a former VFA footballer.
“The government’s investment of greater resources in ASADA is long overdue and the Greens support ASADA conducting investigations that go beyond mere drug testing. But this shouldn't mean that we treat athletes worse than common criminals.
“The government’s bill would give ASADA the power to take a footy player off the street and compel them to answer any question. People facing criminal investigations will have more legal protections than a player at the Essendon Football Club, or the Cronulla Sharks.
“I hate the thought of a game or race being corrupted by doping and like any sports fan I want to see a clean and fair contest. But we cannot put long held legal rights and protections at risk without appropriate safeguards.”
Australian Greens spokesperson for Legal Affairs, Senator Penny Wright, said the Bill threatened legal rights.
“Removing the privilege against self-incrimination, a basic right, isn’t justified by the context here,” Senator Wright said.
“The Bill reverses the fundamental principle of ‘innocent until proven guilty’ – we don’t do this for criminal matters, so why do it for sport?”
Media Contact: Andrew Blyberg 0457 901 600