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Andrew Demetriou joins integrity debate

AFL CEO Andrew Demetriou will join the panel for next week’s Integrity Forum that will bring close to 300 leaders together to discuss the crucial issues facing Australian sport.

The outgoing AFL boss will provide his wealth of experience across a range of subjects as Australia’s largest sporting code has been at the centre of some of the most high-profile integrity issues facing Australian sport in recent years, including racial discrimination, gambling, salary cap and priority pick investigations and the ongoing ASADA enquiry.

Meanwhile, Dr Rogge advised Sport Australia Hall of Fame chair John Bertrand and forum organisers last night that he would be unable to travel to Australia due to the re-occurrence of a recent health issue. The issue is minor but according to Dr Rogge, “my physician won’t let me fly for so many hours.”

“To my great regret I have to cancel my trip to Melbourne,” Dr Rogge said. “I very much regret this and I wish you a very good Forum.”

Bertrand said it was unfortunate that Dr Rogge wasn’t able to attend the forum and contribute his wealth of experience to the important issues of integrity facing global sport, but welcomed the inclusion of AFL chief Andrew Demetriou, who had accepted the invitation to participate as a panelist  prior to Dr Rogge’s withdrawal.

“Dr Rogge’s willingness to help us tackle this issue has already placed the forum on the agenda of sporting administrators in leadership positions across the breadth of Australian sport,” Bertrand said.

“We are thrilled that Andrew Demetriou is able to join us.  His experience in dealing with the issues the AFL has faced in recent years will be invaluable, particularly in some of our key topic areas such as the level playing field, commercialisation, the values of sport, along with the growing impact of sport science.  All these topics intersect and the AFL experience will be invaluable for all in attendance,” Bertrand said.

Hosted by Victoria University and the Sport Australia Hall of Fame, the forum will discuss a roadmap for tackling the growing culture within sport to win at any price.

Moderated by ABC Grandstand broadcaster Francis Leach, and to be subsequently broadcast on the ABC Big Ideas program, the forum will bring together Australia’s sports leaders, from presidents and chairs, to CEO’s, integrity officers, player managers and athletes.

In addition to Demetriou and Bertrand, the panelists include:

  • Kim Crow – Olympic medallist and Australian Olympic Committee Athlete Commission chair
  • Simon Hollingsworth – CEO, Australian Sports Commission
  • Professor Hans Westerbeek – Dean, College of Sport and Exercise Science, Victoria University
  • Dr Pippa Grange – Director, Bluestone Edge, sports ethicist

Also participating in the forum discussion, to be held at Melbourne’s Malthouse Theatre, will be Australian Cricketers Association CEO Paul Marsh, former head of WADA John Fahey, Australian Institute of Sport director Matt Favier, Australian Olympic Committee medical commission member and former AIS director Dr Peter Fricker, Victorian Institute of Sport CEO Anne-Marie Harrison, Olympic gold medalist and Collingwood Football Club board member Alisa Camplin and Cycling Australia anti-doping manager Sonya Simpson.

“The intent of the forum is to face the issues, understand the threats and with the help of Victoria University academics to provide guidance and a roadmap for Australia’s sporting leaders,” Bertrand said.

“This is an issue that sport is facing at all levels and it’s much broader than just elite sporting competitions, it quickly filters down to sport at a community level. But what is the price of winning at any cost?” Bertrand asks.

Victoria University College of Sport and Exercise Science Dean Professor Hans Westerbeek said the forum aims to provide the opportunity to meaningfully discuss the issue at a time when the pressure and incentives to succeed tempts athletes, coaches, administrators and managers to ‘do whatever it takes’ to achieve success.

“The forum is designed to encourage a greater level of informed debate about integrity in sport issues, and encourage participants at all levels of sport to reflect on actions they can take to address integrity issues,” Professor Westerbeek said.


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