Language revised in Clause 4 of the Athlete Contract

(Ottawa, ON – December 22, 2014) – The Canadian Centre for Ethics in Sport (CCES) wishes to advise the Canadian sport community that the language in Clause 4 of the Athlete Contract has been adjusted to more clearly reflect the purpose for the disclosure and to clarify to National Athlete Pool (NAP) athletes that the information to be disclosed must be directly related to potential anti-doping rule violations as described in the Canadian Anti-Doping Program (CADP). The CCES has no mandate and therefore will not use the disclosed information for any other purpose.

The changes to the Athlete Contract are in response to the feedback we have received from various athletes, athlete organizations, other sport organizations, Sport Canada and in ongoing consultation with the CCES’ Board of Directors.

Evolving the CADP

The CCES’ intent regarding the purpose for the disclosure of information has not changed and this understanding has been previously described in various supplemental documents (such as the first Advisory Note and the FAQ regarding CCES Receiving Information from Law Enforcement). However, these documents do not form part of the Athlete Contract or the consent clause, and thus may not be well known or understood by the NAP athletes actually signing the consent. The revised wording in Clause 4 seeking to achieve greater clarity is as follows:

With the understanding that any disclosure is for the sole purpose of assisting the CCES in enforcement of the CADP, I consent to havingpolice and law enforcement agencies, border services agencies, Sport Organizations of which I am a member and sporting clubs and athletic associations to which I belong, in Canada and elsewhere, disclose to the CCES information in their possession relating to me that is directly relevant to potential anti-doping rule violations contained in the CADP that may be asserted against me.

The term “personal information” has been removed and replaced with “information” to narrow the type of information the CCES would receive.  Since “personal information” is a well-understood legal term with a broad scope, using “information” will permit this word to be modified with reference to the words immediately following it in the consent. Accordingly, the “information” to be disclosed must be directly linked to a potential anti-doping rule violation.

“The CCES is grateful to all stakeholders who shared their feedback regarding this important aspect of the new 2015 CADP,” said Paul Melia, President and CEO of the CCES. “Developing the new CADP has involved extensive consultation with the end product being a compromise among all stakeholders with respect to the best way forward in the fight against doping in sport. With this strong consensus in mind, while we fully appreciate some may continue to have reservations with this important evolution of the CADP, we look forward to the support of all sport organizations as we collectively implement it in support of doping-free sport in Canada.” 

Throughout this process, many stakeholders were consulted. “The Canadian Olympic Committee Athletes’ Commission (COCAC) very much appreciated the CCES engaging us in discussions regarding Clause 4 of the Athlete Contract,” commented Jeff Christie, Chair COCAC. “The revised language in Clause 4 will permit a limited disclosure of information from law enforcement agencies to the CCES, as contemplated in the World Anti-Doping Code. While the disclosure of personal information is a right we steadfastly protect, we accept the revised language in Clause 4 as a measured response to a mandatory Code Standard necessary to permit the CCES to conduct investigations into doping activity. We applaud the CCES for taking the time to consult with the COCAC and for seeking expert advice. We are proud that we have been able to contribute to a solution; a solution which we believe puts athletes’ rights at the forefront.”

The amended Athlete Contract has been updated in Annex B of the 2015 CADP Adoption Contract for National Sport Organizations and is also available for download as a separate document at http://cces.ca/en/2015cadp.

Should the earlier version of the Athlete Contract have been used, the CCES wishes to make clear that even if the original consent language forms part of a signed Athlete Contract in 2015, the Athlete Contract does not need to be resigned as the purpose for the disclosure of information and the need for a direct link to violations in the CADP, which is now more clearly expressed in the revised Clause 4, will be respected by the CCES in all cases.

Managing a complex process

The CCES has been very thorough and inclusive in the process it used to surface, collate and incorporate input on this matter. The challenges involved with implementing changes to such an important, pan-Canadian initiative as the CADP are numerous. Years of global consultations led to a new set of rules for international anti-doping that were adopted by the World Anti-Doping Agency (WADA) in November 2013. Those global rules have been interpreted and incorporated into our Canadian rules and have been deemed by WADA to be in compliance with the new World Anti-Doping Code. The CCES has revised our domestic rules and consulted with the Canadian sport community throughout 2014 in order to ensure we meet the impending deadline of January 1, 2015 for implementation. 

Since May 2014, two previous drafts of the CADP have been developed and released to the Canadian sport community with ongoing consultation and further adaptation at every turn. Dr. David Zussman, Jarislowsky Chair in Public Sector Management at the University of Ottawa and Chairman of the Board of the CCES, understands the complexity of managing such a broad, national process: “On matters of such national relevance as the CADP, it is important to enable many diverse opinions and perspectives to be raised. Even suggestions that may not ultimately be reflected in a final set of rules, merit consideration in order that the final product benefit from such careful examination,” noted Dr. Zussman.

The consultative process undertaken by the CCES in this instance has been broadly appreciated by stakeholders. As is often the case in  multi-party discussions, the consensus achieved with stakeholders around the final product has not, however, been unanimous: “AthletesCAN has been highly involved in the review of the 2015 CADP and while our board and athlete representatives continue to oppose Clause 4, we appreciate the collaborative efforts of CCES to work with AthletesCAN and its stakeholders to further define the clause and are pleased to see that it now better informs athletes as to how their private information could be used and to what purpose,” said Josh Vander Vies, President, AthletesCAN.

Nonetheless, as noted in Clause 4 of the Athlete Contract, with the understanding that any disclosure of information stemming from this part of the 2015 CADP is for the sole purpose of assisting the CCES in enforcement of the CADP, all new rules will take effect on January 1, 2015. The CCES thanks all participants in the Canadian sport community for their cooperation in contributing to our shared vision of fair, safe and open sport for everyone in our country.

The CCES is an independent, national, not-for profit organization with a responsibility to administer the Canadian Anti-Doping Program. We recognize that true sport can make a great difference for individuals, communities and our country. We are committed to working collaboratively to activate a values-based and principle-driven sport system; protecting the integrity of sport from the negative forces of doping and other unethical threats; and advocating for sport that is fair, safe and open to everyone.

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Blog: www.cces.ca/blog
Report Doping Hotline: 1-800-710-CCES

 

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For further information, please contact:
Megan Cumming
Manager, Corporate Communications
+1 613-521-3340 x3233
mcumming@cces.ca