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GRC Professional : GRC Autumn 2013
17 failures across the sporting community, particularly at the premier end, have received considerable publicity, the drivers that led to the present situation have only been scantily analysed. Malcolm Speed, Chair of The Coalition of Major Professional and Participation Sports (COMPPS) points to many issues but prefaces his observations by asking that there be some perspective on them. "This doping is very likely to be isolated to a few teams who had contacts with a small number of [criminal] individuals," he says, but he suggests it is happening on a larger scale overseas and could become a big issue in Australia "if we don't get our act together." His hunches are not without foundation. COMPPS received confidential briefings in the wake of the doping report. The orga nisation of major professional sports unites for common interests such as anti-doping, anti-syphoning, copyright and making government submissions. "Lots of these peptide and performance -enhancing substances are found in gyms and are part of the body-building industry with bikies trafficking in substances, so I think it is stretching the criminal aspect a bit," he says. "But peptides are new, very difficult to detect and the technolog y being developed for such detection is changing so quickly it is hard to keep up." They are therefore presenting an opportunity for risk takers. "We need to revisit this from a boa rd perspective." Speed says it is fair to ask if the culture of all sporting bodies is defective, but that it is important not to generalise. Wake-up call Notwithstanding his scepticism about the scope of the doping, he says the issue is a wake-up call for ever y sport. "There are many examples of sporting excellence where corner s haven't been cut a nd where the culture is fine, but that culture cannot be taken for granted," he says. "We have grow n to have this expectation that second is not good enough." Speed says sport has almost created an industry of coaches and expert consultants who specialise in establishing leadership teams within club frameworks around leadership groups. "Until 10 years ago we didn't talk about culture, but in sport a lot of effort goes into creating a sound culture - a sound moral compass for the organisation, he says. He says the sporting landscape ha s become crowded with a lot of competitive professional teams jostling for sponsorship and funding. This in itself puts pressure on athletes and teams to meet extremely high benchmarks -- and as has now been revealed, at a price that treads outside the boundaries. "It has become big business and is so expensive to run, there is not much between success and failu re," Speed says. He points to the vindictive feeding frenzy around athletes' performance at the London Olympics last year being a very different scenario to what it used to be. "We won't be any less competitive or driven to win [with a new compliance regime] but a great deal more consideration will have to go into how we go about winning.
GRC Summer 2013