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New bill updates drug free sport legislation

New bill updates drug free sport legislation

Parliament has been asked to back New Zealand's push for drug free sport with a new bill that will update sports anti-doping legislation.

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Parliament has been asked to back New Zealand's push for drug free sport with a new bill that will update sports anti-doping legislation, Sport and Recreation Minister Trevor Mallard said today.

The Sports Anti-Doping Bill had its first reading in Parliament today and was sent to Parliament's government administration select committee for consideration.

"New Zealand is regarded by the international community to be a leader in the fight against doping in sport. We were a founding member of the World Anti-Doping Agency and have strongly supported the development of the World Anti-Doping Code," Trevor Mallard said.

"The Sports Anti-Doping Bill was developed to allow all doping violations to be handled in a uniform manner in New Zealand. It will replace the New Zealand Sports Drug Agency Act 1994 which was developed when there was no common international practice around sports doping or drug testing.

"The advent of the code in 2003 changed this environment and although our current anti-doping practices are generally consistent with the code, the bill aims to bring New Zealand's legal framework into line with the code.

"Under the bill, the Sports Disputes Tribunal of New Zealand and Sport Drug Agency will continue their important work. The agency has recently re-branded itself as Drug Free Sport New Zealand and I look forward to its continued leadership," Trevor Mallard said.

"The bill will also allow for the making of Sports Anti-Doping Rules. These will contain the substance of the code such as procedures for testing, appeals, and penalties for doping violations. Sports will be able to meet their obligations under the code by signing up to the rules, which will provide a clear and comprehensive explanation of the code and how it is applied in New Zealand.

"Sport and Recreation New Zealand (SPARC) and the agency will work with national sporting organisations throughout the country to implement these changes to our anti-doping framework.

"Sports in New Zealand are already committed to good relationships with the agency, the tribunal and SPARC to ensure a clean playing field for athletes - this bill will just cement the good work they have already done," Trevor Mallard said.

ENDS

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