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Australia’s Olympic athletes and officials are getting a helping hand from leading law firm Slater and Gordon, an Official Partner of the Australian Olympic Team (AOC).

Ringwood lawyer and former gymnast, Tara Stark, is part of a team of Slater and Gordon lawyers 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.

Ms Stark said the firm had witnessed the signing of nearly 1,000 declarations for budding Olympians at sporting events, uniform fittings and individual appointments across the nation.

“As a former gymnast myself, I know how vital it is for an athlete to protect their personal health and also maintain the strong standing of Olympic sports in Australia,” she said.

“I’m so proud to be part of the team of lawyers who have helped athletes and officials gain a better understanding of these important legal documents over the past 18 months.

“As well as meeting with individual athletes in my office, I have visited sporting events, such as the Australian Gymnastics Championships last year where I witnessed the declarations of many of the country’s best gymnasts.

“It has been truly inspiring to help some of Australia’s highest sporting achievers meet their legal obligations, and I’ve been honoured to personally wish them luck on the world stage.”

Chef de Mission of the 2016 Australian Olympic Team, Kitty Chiller, said the AOC was excited to partner with Slater and Gordon as a valued 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.

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