Go to top of page

Australian Sports Anti-Doping Authority overview

Anti-doping has been part of the Australian sporting landscape for almost 3 decades. Oversight originally lay with the Australian Sports Drug Agency (ASDA, established in 1991), which the Australian Sports Anti-Doping Authority (ASADA) replaced in 2006.

ASADA was a non-corporate Commonwealth entity under the Public Governance, Performance and Accountability Act 2013 (PGPA Act) and its staff were employed under the Public Service Act 1999. ASADA operated under the ASADA Act and the ASADA Regulations, including the National Anti-Doping (NAD) scheme. The agency’s activities were also governed by its obligations to implement the World Anti-Doping Code and International Standards in Australia.

Our vision

Our purpose

Our outcome and program

Outcomes are the Government’s intended results, benefits or consequences for the Australian community. The Australian Government requires entities, such as ASADA, to use outcomes as a basis for budgeting, measuring performance and reporting. Annual departmental funding is appropriated on an outcome basis.

Outcome 1

Protection of the health of athletes and the integrity of Australian sport, including through engagement, deterrence, detection and enforcement to minimise the risk of doping.

Program 1.1

The Australian Government, through ASADA, aims to protect the health of athletes and the integrity of Australian sport by providing a leading anti-doping program for Australia. ASADA achieved this through engagement, deterrence, detection and enforcement activities all focused on 3 fundamental and mutually supportive pillars: enhanced engagement and partnerships; enhanced intelligence; and enhanced education and awareness.

Our strategic priorities

ASADA's work in 2019–20 was driven by 3 fundamental pillars.

These pillars were mutually supportive – engagement and partnerships lead to better intelligence, which better informs targeted and effective education programs. All 3 pillars were geared towards achieving ASADA’s core business to protect clean athletes.

Engagement and partnerships

This strategic priority referred to both increased engagement with national sporting organisations, athletes and support personnel, and enhanced partnerships with law enforcement bodies, border protection agencies, regulatory agencies, the health sector, academic institutions and international anti-doping organisations. These relationships allowed ASADA to better understand and respond to the doping threats in the sports environment, as well as foster proactive engagement with ASADA to develop a culture of clean sport.

ASADA's partnerships with the World Anti-Doping Agency (WADA) and international anti-doping organisations helped to build the collective capability of the anti-doping organisation community, so Australian athletes could compete on a level playing field, wherever that may be.

In the pursuit of clean sport, ASADA continually strove to enhance its engagement with athletes who understand the pressures of sport better than anyone. The insights gained from a strong and focused engagement program critically informed ASADA’s strategy, including how best to support athletes in making the right decisions and how best to deliver education and prevention programs that work.

Guests from across the sport's sector gather for the Leadership in Sport conference held in November 2019.
Guests from across the sport's sector gather for the Leadership in Sport conference held in November 2019.

Intelligence

A professional and flexible intelligence capability is critical to the future viability of anti-doping agencies and to the enhancement of anti-doping testing in the face of sophisticated and evasive doping techniques.

Enhanced intelligence capability provided ASADA with a comprehensive strategic picture of doping in Australia to inform high-level strategy and policy (including public policy), as well as informed and supported operations such as the delivery of more sophisticated testing, education and awareness programs. A robust intelligence picture guided ASADA in applying its suite of capabilities to those sports, and at those levels, where the highest concentrations of doping risk lie.

Enhanced intelligence served to highlight emerging over-the-horizon risks and opportunities, ensuring ASADA was prepared to act on them. In addition, ASADA used a well-developed domestic and international intelligence network to target the high-level facilitators and suppliers of doping to ensure dangerous substances were kept out of sport and away from athletes.

Enhanced engagement with partners (such as the Australian Border Force, Australian Federal Police, Australian Criminal Intelligence Commission and the Australian Health Practitioner Regulation Agency) underpinned the successful establishment of a world-leading anti-doping intelligence capability at ASADA, by giving it access to new and valuable sources of information.

Deputy CEO Legal, Education and Corporate (A/g), Emma Johnson and Director Intelligence, Justine Crawford catch up during a Leadership in Sport conference.
Deputy CEO Legal, Education and Corporate (A/g) Emma Johnson and Director Intelligence, Justine Crawford catch up during a Leadership in Sport conference.

Education and awareness

Education is key to the prevention of doping. ASADA’s education resources served as an example of the benefits to be derived from a strategy led by intelligence and coordinated across the agency. ASADA successfully brought together all of its functional arms to ensure anti-doping education was planned, developed and delivered. When coupled with engagement, partnerships and intelligence, education allowed ASADA to deliver and target the type and extent of anti-doping awareness needed, where it was needed, and in a way likely to achieve 'cut through' within the sporting community.

Innovation and technology connected ASADA with a new generation of athletes in ways they understand. This ensured ASADA’s resources were at the cutting edge of the sector and they could be analysed, measured, reported on and constantly refined, as required.

Given the subject matter expertise held, the interdependence on other functional areas and the crucial stakeholder relationships involved, ASADA was uniquely placed to implement and constantly evolve an education program to be the benchmark for all other anti-doping organisations.

ASADA Director Education and Innovation (A/g), Alexis Cooper talks to the Australian Wallabies team in August 2019.
ASADA Director Education and Innovation (A/g), Alexis Cooper talks to the Australian Wallabies team in August 2019.

Our structure

ASADA's organisational structure as at 30 June 2020: