Australia’s Olympic athletes and officials are getting a helping hand from law firm Slater and Gordon, an Official Partner of the Australian Olympic Team (AOC).
Nedlands lawyer and former Olympic rowing official, Craig James OAM, is part of a team of Slater and Gordon solicitors around the country who are witnessing anti-doping legal documents for athletes ahead of the Rio 2016 Olympic Games this August.
The Olympic Team Membership Agreements strengthen the AOC’s stance against doping by requiring athletes and officials to sign a statutory declaration confirming they have no history of doping.
Athletes can only be selected for the Olympic team once they have signed-up, and if anyone makes a false declaration, they face being kicked off the team and even risk criminal charges.
The firm’s lawyers have witnessed nearly 1,000 declarations for budding Olympians at sporting events, uniform fittings and individual appointments across the nation.
Mr James who was awarded in the 2016 Australian Honours list for his service to rowing and sport in Western Australia, has officiated World Rowing Championships as far afield as Germany, Japan, Lithuania, Scotland, Slovenia, and Switzerland.
Craig also officiated at the 2000 Sydney Olympic Rowing and 2008 Beijing Olympic Rowing regattas. He is also the recipient of the WA Sport and Recreation Industry 2011 John Graham Award for Exceptional Service to Sport and remains an administrator at the most senior level of Western Australian and Australian Rowing.
“As a rower since 1965 and an umpire since 1978, I know how important it is for sporting participants to uphold the standing of Olympic sports in this country,” Mr James said.
“I have visited sporting events such as the Australian Hockey Squad uniform measuring session at the Hockey Stadium and witnessed declarations for the men and women who may represent Australia in their sport.
“Our firm has helped athletes and officials with these legal documents for one-and-a-half years now and I’m pleased to have been part of that team.”
Chef de Mission of the 2016 Australian Olympic Team, Kitty Chiller said the AOC was excited to partner with Slater and Gordon as a member of the Australian Olympic Team.
“The Australian Olympic Committee is committed to the fight against doping in sport and has been at the forefront of protecting the integrity of sport for many years,” she said.
“We are very happy to be working with Slater and Gordon to assist our athletes and officials as part of this process.”
Slater and Gordon is the Official Law Firm of the Australian Olympic Team. The partnership is the first of its kind between a law firm and the AOC, and will continue until the end of 2020.