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Drug-free sport - NZ assumes leadership role

26 October 2006

NZ assumes leadership role in its commitment to drug-free sport

Parliament has today passed a new law that places New Zealand at the forefront of the fight against doping in sport.

The Sports Anti-Doping Bill received its final reading today. The new legislation will further strengthen New Zealand’s commitment to ensuring its athletes are able to compete in a drug-free environment.

The Sports Anti-Doping Act 2006 will implement the World Anti-Doping Code which seeks to protect an athlete’s fundamental right to participate in drug-free sport. It also aims to ensure harmonised, coordinated and effective anti-doping programmes at an international and national level.

Under the new Act, Drug Free Sport New Zealand will establish a set of rules to implement the provisions of the World Anti-Doping Code. These rules may be adopted by the National Sporting Organisations through their anti-doping policies, constitutions, regulations or other instruments.

"The legislation shows New Zealand is at the forefront of the commitment to maintain a level playing field for all athletes in the spirit of honesty, ethics, courage and fairness," Sport and Recreation Minister Trevor Mallard said.

"New Zealand should be proud of our proactive stance.

"The act is model legislation and I expect other countries will be looking to follow our lead."

Trevor Mallard also thanked New Zealand athletes who had shown on the international stage that New Zealand can compete and win fairly and cleanly.

With the exception of some transitional clauses, this Act will come into force on 1 July 2007.

ENDS

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