Wednesday, 1 April 2015
Sport Ireland Bill 2014: Report and Final Stages
I move amendment No. 1:
In page 5, line 23, to delete "mean" and substitute "means".These are minor technical amendments to correct spelling errors, cross-references and the positioning of a definition in the original text.
I move amendment No. 5:
In page 22, between lines 30 and 31, to insert the following:"(4) For the purposes of subsection (3)(a), the Minister may specify a period that is longer or shorter than a financial year of the Council.".These amendments, which were suggested by the Comptroller and Auditor General, relate to the period that can be covered in the final accounts of the Irish Sports Council and the National Sports Campus Development Authority. Normally, the accounts would cover a 12-month financial year, but these amendments allow the final accounts to cover the longer period from January 2014 up to the date Sport Ireland is established in 2015. The approach suggested by the Comptroller and Auditor General is more effective for accounting and auditing purposes.
I move amendment No. 6:
In page 23, between lines 6 and 7, to insert the following:"(4) For the purposes of subsection (3)(a), the Minister may specify a period that is longer or shorter than a financial year of the Authority.".
I move amendment No. 7:
In page 24, to delete lines 18 to 20 and substitute the following:" "anti-doping rule violation” shall be construed in accordance with the Irish Anti-Doping Rules;This relates to the definition of "doping" in sport. The definition in the original text of the Bill gave doping in sport the same meaning as it has in the UNESCO International Convention against Doping in Sport. There were concerns that this definition could cause a difficulty for Sport Ireland in bringing certain cases against athletes suspected of doping. The concern is that there can be a significant delay between the time when the new anti-doping rule violations are introduced by the World Anti-Doping Agency, WADA, and when the definition in the convention is updated to reflect these new rule violations. This delay could stop Sport Ireland from bringing cases against athletes suspected of doping under any new rule violations agreed by WADA but not yet agreed under the convention. I am amending the definition now to guard against any such difficulties arising. This amendment will mean that all anti-doping rule violations under the WADA code will have immediate effect in Ireland under the Irish anti-doping rules.
“doping in sport” means the occurrence of one, or more, anti-doping rule violations;”.
I move amendment No. 8:
In page 25, to delete line 26.The current version of the Bill includes a provision that obliges Sport Ireland to make anti-doping rules related to consent of data subjects. Consent was part of the old anti-doping rules enforced when the Bill was drafted. A new set of Irish anti-doping rules came into force on 1 January 2015 and the consent element has been removed. This is in line with WADA anti-doping developments internationally. I now propose to delete the reference to consent in the Bill in order to be consistent with international developments. I am also deleting some text in section 43 and replacing it with a general provision that requires Sport Ireland to perform its functions and obligations in accordance with the data protection Acts. There was concern that the original text placed a heavier burden on Sport Ireland than is required under the data protection Acts, and that this could be used by athletes at anti-doping hearings to argue that due process has not been met and weaken the Sport Ireland case against athletes who are alleged to have been doping. The amendment I am proposing will guard against that. Sport Ireland will be required to comply with the data protection Acts in the normal way, just as with all other State agencies.
I move amendment No. 9:
In page 26, lines 7 to 21, to delete all words from and including “(1) Sport" in line 7 down to and including line 21 and substitute the following:"(1) Sport Ireland shall perform its functions and obligations in accordance with the Data Protection Acts 1988 and 2003.".
I move amendment No. 11:
In page 26, to delete lines 26 to 38, and in page 27, to delete lines 1 and 2 and substitute the following:“Persons engaged in sportThis amendment is to simplify the definition of who must comply with the Irish anti-doping rules. The question of to whom the rules apply will be set out in the rules rather than the Bill. Sport Ireland will have responsibility for making the Irish anti-doping rules and setting out to whom the rules apply. The existing Irish anti-doping rules, under the Irish Sports Council, work in this way.
44. (1) This section applies to a person to which the Irish Anti-Doping Rules apply.
(2) A person that fails to comply with the Irish Anti-Doping Rules shall not, subject to those Rules, be eligible—(a) for funding from Sport Ireland, or
(b) to represent the State in sport.”.