Inquiry to look into health and wellbeing of athletes

HE recent highly-publicised controversies around the issues of sports science are to be the subject of a Senate inquiry.

Greens Senator Richard Di Natale, who secured the inquiry, said he was motivated by a concern for the health and wellbeing of athletes.

"The focus of the current doping scandal has been on whether substances are in breach of the WADA code, but there is a bigger issue at stake here," Senator Di Natale said.

"As a doctor I'm really very concerned about potential health impacts of some of the drugs and supplements that have been reportedly used.

"Using drugs that aren't yet approved for human use, or prescription medications for purposes they weren't designed for, is dangerous."

Senator Di Natale said many of the problems arose because of a lack of accredited standards in terms of who could actually call themselves sports scientists.

This, in turn, made it difficult to create a code of conduct around their roles, he said.

"We need to work out what sorts of safeguards and governance structures need to be in place to make sure that players are never again being used as guinea pigs in a sports science arms-race," he said.

The inquiry has called for submissions from sports scientists, players, athletes, club doctors and administrators.