National News

New integrity body to protect Aussie sport

Australia's sports integrity watchdogs are being overhauled in an attempt to stamp out doping, match-fixing and illegal betting.

The Morrison government is establishing a single agency, to be known as Sport Integrity Australia, to ensure clean, safe and fair competition.

The national agency will bring together anti-doping watchdogs ASADA, the National Integrity of Sport Unit, and the integrity functions of Sport Australia.

A new, national tribunal will also be established to hear anti-doping allegations and resolve other sport disputes.

Bridget McKenzie, the federal minister for sport, said it was wrong to assume Australian competitions were immune from integrity challenges.

Senator McKenzie pointed to match-fixing allegations levelled against the Southern Stars football club, the use of supplements by AFL and NRL teams, and the suspension of a junior tennis champion for match-fixing.

And of course, the recent sandpaper scandal which rocked Australia's cricket team.

"We have seen the massive fall-out from the cricket ball-tampering scandal and the loss of belief in our national cricket team and we are determined to prevent incidents like this from happening," she said on Tuesday.

"Australian sports lovers deserve to know that the sport they watch and the teams they support are competing on a level playing field and playing fairly."

Senator McKenzie is determined not to allow Australian children to become disillusioned by examples of sport corruption.

"We are reassuring the hundreds of thousands of Australians who are involved in sport at every level - from grassroots to elite - that they can be confident their sport is better protected," she said.

"In particular, we want parents to know their children are protected and be confident the sports in which they participate are clean, fair and safe."

© AAP 2019