Athlete v Polocrosse Australia

Whether sanctions imposed by a national sporting organisation on an athlete for fraudulent activity were manifestly excessive


Athlete v Polocrosse Australia

Matter number:
Date of decision:
Dispute type:
Disciplinary dispute
Dispute resolution method:

The Athlete hoped to represent Australia in an International Test series in Queensland in May 2022. All players were required to be vaccinated against COVID-19, or to have a valid exemption, to attend this event. On several occasions throughout 2022, the Athlete fraudulently altered official Australian Federal Government documents to falsify information about their vaccination status, and presented this information to Polocrosse Australia in order to attend the event. Following investigation, Polocrosse Australia determined that the Athlete had breached various clauses of its Constitution, and imposed upon the Athlete considerable sanctions, including suspension and ineligibility to be selected for the National team.

The Athlete did not dispute that they were at fault but did dispute the sanctions imposed. Through the NST General Division, the Athlete and Polocrosse Australia sought a determination on whether the sanctions imposed were ‘manifestly excessive’.

In making this Determination, the NST member considered the conduct of the Athlete as well as the steps taken and facts considered by the Board of Polocrosse Australia in imposing the sanctions. The NST determined that the Board had acted with the utmost of attention to detail and with obvious care, and found that the sanctions imposed were not manifestly excessive. In making this Determination, the NST member also makes comment on the proper formulation of an issue for determination and the ‘manifestly excessive’ test.