Member v Sporting Body

Dispute regarding alleged breaches of a sport’s Child Safeguarding Policy.


Member v Sporting Body

Matter number:
Date of decision:
Dispute type:
Bullying, harassment and discrimination dispute
Dispute resolution method:

The Applicant is a coach, and member of the Respondent which is a national sporting organisation. In December 2022 and at other times, it is alleged that the Applicant had engaged in conduct in contravention of the sport’s Child Safeguarding Policy. Three of the five initial allegations were substantiated by Sports Integrity Australia (SIA).

On 18 October 2023, the Respondent wrote to the Applicant informing him of sanctions including a three-year suspension from all professional and volunteer roles in the sport, education, and a further two-year good behaviour bond with supervision. The Applicant then disputed the Breach Notice which included both findings and proposed sanctions. 

The Tribunal considered the likelihood of the Applicant to reoffend, the size of the sport and community, the SIA Case Categorisation and Guidance for Sanctions, and the amount of previous education on the Child Safeguarding Policy that the Applicant had undertaken.

The Tribunal found that at the time of imposing the proposed sanctions on the Applicant, the Respondent did not have the power to do so (under a previous version of its Complaints Disputes and Disciplinary Policy). The Respondent also failed to extend procedural fairness to the Applicant when the proposed sanctions were determined. 

The Tribunal determined that the Applicant is suspended from coaching or officiating the sport and all coaching accreditations are suspended for 18 months. The Applicant also must register for online education. 

A supplementary determination was issued on 16 January to address whether the sanction included administrative roles in the sport. The Tribunal then further suspended the Applicant from roles such as chaperone to minors, strength and conditioning coach, team manager to minors, and asked that any future ‘Child Related Position’ in the sport be assessed against the sport’s policies.