The Swimming Australia Board agreed yesterday to work towards adopting the National Integrity Framework (NIF), including the operation of an independent complaints handling process to be managed by Sport Integrity Australia.
Since early 2021, Sport Integrity Australia and Swimming Australia have been working together on Swimming Australia’s adoption of the NIF and the recent Board vote is a major milestone in that process.
Swimming Australia has authorised Sport Integrity Australia to manage serious integrity complaints raised within the sport. It will now work collaboratively with Sport Integrity Australia on the finalisation of the NIF policies and procedures for swimming, the implementation and embedding of which will take some time.
Both organisations are committed to the protection of integrity in sport and working together towards the implementation of this framework that will continue to drive meaningful and positive cultural change within the sport.
Swimming Australia President Kieren Perkins has met regularly with Sport Integrity Australia CEO David Sharpe in recent months to work through what the decision would mean for Swimming Australia.
Mr Perkins said the decision by the Board overnight was a further step in the right direction following the announcement of the independent panel to look into issues relating to the sport.
“Working more closely with Sport Integrity Australia reinforces the hard work Swimming Australia has already done in staying at the forefront of member protection and safe sport,” he said.
“We look forward to continuing being a leading sport working with Sport Integrity Australia on the development and implementation of the National Integrity Framework.”
Mr Sharpe welcomed the move and said athletes were the winners with this decision.
“I commend the Board for taking this important step which will mean that athletes and participants can have confidence that their complaints will be addressed independently,” Mr Sharpe said. “This will also mean a stronger working relationship for us with swimming, one of Australia’s largest participation sports, on integrity matters generally.
“I look forward to continuing to working on these reforms with Kieren and newly appointed interim CEO Eugenie Buckley who joins the Sport Integrity Australia CEO Advisory Panel. Eugenie’s appointment represents a real coup for Swimming Australia – having someone with her experience and understanding of the industry at the helm during this period will be of great benefit to the sport.”
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