Applicant v National Sporting Organisation

Dispute of disciplinary action against a coach for alleged breaches of the National Sporting Organisation’s Member Protection Policy.


Applicant v National Sporting Organisation

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

The Applicant is a nationally accredited coach, his application arose from disciplinary action taken by the National Sporting Organisation (NSO) for alleged breaches of the NSO’s Member Protection Policy (MPP).

The NSO first received a complaint comprising four distinct allegations regarding the Applicant in 2021. Shortly after, the Applicant was informed of the complaint and in the same communication notified of the interim orders being imposed taking immediate effect. The orders included a suspension of the Applicant’s coaching accreditation and membership with the NSO.

By reason of mandatory reporting requirements under legislation, the matter was referred to the police who investigated and decided to take no action in respect of the allegations. However, additional information was provided to the NSO by police which the NSO treated as a second complaint.

The NSO referred both complaints to Sport Integrity Australia (SIA), appointing them as the independent investigator. In July 2022, SIA communicated their findings to the NSO in which all four allegations included under the first complaint were found to be unsubstantiated or unfounded. SIA declined to investigate the second complaint.

However, in early 2023 the NSO rejected the findings of SIA and notified the Applicant that they deemed three of the allegations under the first complaint to be substantiated. Accordingly, the NSO imposed sanctions on the Applicant which included restrictions on his coaching accreditation and mandatory education requirements.

The Applicant then lodged his application for review with the President of the NSO and subsequently, the NSO referred the dispute to the General Division of the NST for arbitration.

Initially the Applicant sought an order staying the sanctions. Ultimately the parties consented to the sanctions being lifted.

Prior to the hearing taking place, the NSO conceded that the second complaint should be dismissed, and the Tribunal declared that the second complaint did not constitute a complaint for the purposes of the NSO’s policy. The NSO also withdrew its finding of substantiation for one of the allegations and the Tribunal accordingly declared that the evidence did not substantiate that complaint.

The Tribunal considered the evidence before SIA, and the further evidence provided by both parties alongside written and oral submissions.

Tribunal then made its determination dismissing the first complaint in its entirety. In doing so, the Tribunal found that some of the conduct had occurred but did not contravene the NSO’s MPP.