In 2011, the Australian Crime Commission (ACC) highlighted threats to the integrity of professional sport and concluded that there was potential for organised crime to infiltrate sport in Australia, as has occurred overseas.
Data from the ACC’s 2010–11 Illicit Drug Data Report indicated that the market for Performance and Image Enhancing Drugs (PIEDs) has expanded, with record numbers of seizures, detections and arrests and increasing reports by users that they were injecting them. The ACC also received information from the Australian Sports AntiDoping Authority (ASADA), as part of the ACC’s routine monitoring of all illicit drug markets, which suggested a potential threat to a number of sports from the use of new generation PIEDs.
In early 2012, the ACC, with the assistance of ASADA 1 , began a project to consider the extent of use of PIEDs by professional athletes, the size of this market and the extent of organised criminal involvement. This project focused particularly on a new form of PIEDs, known collectively as peptides and hormones. These substances may provide effects similar to anabolic steroids and are considered by users to be next generation PIEDs. Some of these substances are perceived by athletes to be undetectable, making them attractive to those seeking to gain an unfair advantage.
This report provides a summary of findings from this project. In particular, the ACC has now identified use of these substances, which are prohibited by the World Anti-Doping Agency (WADA), by professional athletes in a number of sports in Australia. Widespread use has been identified or is suspected in a number of professional sporting codes. In detailing the nature and extent of this threat to the professional sporting industry
and the Australian Community, this report provides an important opportunity for
Government, regulatory bodies and the sporting industry to address these issues head on.
The ACC has collaborated with ASADA throughout this project and references to the ACC in this report should be understood to imply and reflect the outcomes of this collaboration. As the appropriate regulatory agency, ASADA will conduct its own investigation of matters raised by this project.