Astin Darcy v Archery Australia

Alleged breach of sporting body’s policies prohibiting the consumption of alcohol prior to, or during competition.


Astin Darcy v Archery Australia

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

Archery Australia (AA), the body responsible for governing the sport within Australia, referred this dispute to the National Sports Tribunal (NST) in accordance with its Conduct and Disciplinary Policy. AA alleged that three athletes breached the AA Safety Guidelines, the World Archery Rules and the AA Code of Conduct by consuming alcohol between the morning and afternoon sessions at an AA Qualifying and Ranking Event. By reason of unavailability of the other two athletes, the NST proceeded to hear AA’s dispute with Mr Darcy in the first instance.

From the submissions and evidence provided by both AA and Mr Darcy, the Tribunal was able to extract two main issues in dispute, being: (i) whether Mr Darcy consumed alcohol before or during competition; and (ii) whether the consumption of alcohol in the circumstances of this case constituted a breach of the aforementioned policies and rules.

Mr Darcy did not deny attending the Yarrambat Golf Club to purchase lunch between sessions, but contended the drink purchased was a non-alcoholic beer. AA relied on witness statements and photographs to prove on the balance of probabilities that Mr Darcy had breached the AA Safety Guidelines and AA Constitution by consuming alcohol a prohibited substance during competition. 

The Tribunal determined it was not satisfied on the evidence provided by AA that Mr Darcy had consumed alcohol, resolving the first issue. Due to this finding, it was not necessary to then consider and determine the second issue. Nevertheless, the Tribunal stated in relation to the second issue, that on the evidence relied upon by AA it would not have been satisfied to the requisite standard that Mr Darcy was under the influence of alcohol at the time he competed in the afternoon session.

Therefore, the Tribunal ultimately found that the allegation of Mr Darcy consuming alcohol before or during competition had not been proven and consequentially, the applicable rules and policies of the sport had not been breached.