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AFL upgrade integrity watchdog

By Kim Hagdorn
20 February 2013 05:33PM EST

THE AFL has stepped up it's fight to improve integrity in the game in the wake of alarming claims of illicit drug use and corruption in Australian sport.

The league announced new measures and increased staff specialising in scrutiny of the game and AFL integrity following endorsement by the full commission.

Appointment of a full-time integrity officer will take effect almost immediately and two part-timer will become full-time as well.

Substantial increases to safeguard and watch the league's integrity were released by AFL chief executive Andrew Demetriou.

Demetriou confirmed that significant increases in policing operations of all 18 AFL clubs will be swung into immediate effect.

The league boss revealed plans for meetins with all 18 clubs within the next 10 days.

He also unveiled plans for AFL medical commissioners to meet all clubs and to increase scrutiny on all use of substances and supplements for players and staff.

Demetriou announced:

1. Mandatory reporting to the AFL of any doping activities or approaches.
2. Enhancing the AFL registry of all club staff and personnel who have contact with players, including sports scientists.
3. An audit of backgrounds of all club employees, contractors and consultants.

Demetriou also revealed that:

* “The Commission received an update from the executive on the development of a ‘whistleblower’ policy which will be in place as soon as possible.

* “Consistent with the recommendations of the ACC report, the AFL has written to each State and Territory Government seeking legislation to:

He said the AFL will:

* Introduce information sharing arrangements between police agencies, other investigative bodies and approved sporting bodies
* Adopt legislation which provides for a term of imprisonment for anyone found guilty of match fixing, similar to the legislation adopted by the New South Wales Government last year.
* Adopt legislation for the introduction of criminal sanctions for those who peddle and administer performance enhancing drugs.

* “The AFL Medical Directors will now meet all clubs doctors to review practices and the oversight of treatments.

* “Meetings are scheduled with all 18 AFL clubs during the next 10 days

* “Each Club’s use of supplements and other treatments will now be audited.”

Demetriou said the AFL commission regarded the integrity of the game as its highest priority and the response and approach by the AFL will continue to evolve throughout this year.

“As far as the matters raised by the ACC apply to the AFL, they are being thoroughly investigated by ASADA and we will provide whatever support is required to ASADA and other agencies,” he concluded.

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