Sports at risk if code not backed: Coates

AUSTRALIA’S Olympics chief John Coates believes delaying the adoption of a world anti-drugs policy could put at risk the nation’s participation in major sports events.

A SENATE inquiry is taking evidence in Canberra ahead of parliament passing changes to Australia’s anti-doping laws.

The legislation seeks to align the Australian code with the world anti-doping code.

“The horse has bolted,” Mr Coates told the committee on Friday, listing dozens of other countries’ sports associations, and international bodies, that had already acted to endorse the world code.

He said if Australia did not act quickly to adopt the world code – which increases penalties from two to four years and extends the time in which cases can be pursued – it could put at risk Australia’s participation in next year’s Asia Cup football tournament and the Rio Olympics.

“If they want to compete internationally or in international events in Australia they must fall into line,” he said.