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Drug Free Sport starts legal support fund for athletes

27 Aug 2021

Kiwi athletes facing doping proceedings can now access financial support towards legal costs thanks to a new Legal Support Fund established by Drug Free Sport New Zealand (DFSNZ).

The international anti-doping system exists to catch cheats, and often requires an athlete to prove their innocence. In New Zealand, however, history shows many athletes caught up in this process may not have deliberately taken banned substances. Athletes also often have a lack of financial resources available to them meaning they are unable or unwilling to take legal advice which might otherwise benefit them. The Legal Support Fund has been created to help redress this.

“We want all athletes to be given as much support as possible,” says Chief Executive Nick Paterson. “WADA’s Athlete’s Anti-Doping Rights Act recommends that athletes should be able to access legal aid for hearings and proceedings. We wholeheartedly agree and we’re proud to make this a reality in New Zealand. Anyone facing a potential ban from sport will have support to access sound legal advice from the start.”

The Legal Support Fund is available to all athletes, athlete support personnel and others facing an alleged anti-doping rule violation.

Find out more at Legal Support Fund