Crackdown on inappropriate performance enhancing drugs

A new partnership will clear the way for investigations into registered health practitioners who provide performance enhancing drugs without therapeutic need

The Australian Sports Anti-Doping Authority (ASADA) and the Australian Health Practitioner Regulation Agency (AHPRA) have announced a Memorandum of Understanding designed to enhance cooperation in investigative activities.

The two organisations say their purposes align when these drugs are provided without therapeutic need, “causing a risk to public health and safety”.

The MoU follows recent liaison between the two agencies and is hoped to enable them to cooperate more closely in such investigations.

“This MOU will help us ensure the public remains protected against practitioners who fail to meet their professional obligations,” says AHPRA CEO Martin Fletcher.

“It identifies areas where we can cooperate as regulators to work better together to protect the public, while meeting our respective regulatory responsibilities.

“Our primary purpose is to protect the public. Any registered health practitioner whose prescribing exposes the public, including athletes, to serious risks can be held to account under our National Law,” he said.

“The closer cooperation between AHPRA, the National Boards and ASADA in relation to suspected cases of inappropriate prescribing should act as a deterrent to practitioners and athletes seeking PEDs alike.”

ASADA CEO David Sharpe says the partnership is “a critical step in helping ASADA to better target the facilitators of doping and protect the health of Australian athletes”.

“Health practitioners who prescribe and dispense PEDs inappropriately pose a very real threat to clean sport and to the health of athletes,” he says

“Many PEDs have very serious health implications and unfortunately, our intelligence shows that information about these practitioners’ services spreads quickly between likeminded athletes.

“Cooperation with AHPRA helps us to identify those athletes seeking unfair advantage, as well as ensuring those registered health practitioners whose conduct is unprofessional are kept away from sport.”

The MOU took effect on 4 September 2017 and does not diminish existing legislative responsibilities for privacy and confidentiality in the management of information by each agency.

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