Policies and Procedures – Athlete Assistance Program

Sport Canada – November 1, 2022

© 2019 Public Works and Government Services Canada
Catalogue No. CH24-11/2019E-PDF
ISBN 978-0-660-31247-7

Ce document est aussi disponible en français.

In this text, use of the masculine is generic and applies to both men and women.

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Introduction

The purpose of this document is to present the policies and procedures of Sport Canada’s Athlete Assistance Program (AAP). The target audiences for this document are the athletes, coaches and sport administrators who currently access or wish to access the program.

Sport Canada reserves the right to review and revise these policies and procedures.

Sport Canada hopes that provincial/territorial government agencies and provincial/territorial sport organizations will develop similar programs to assist athletes ranked just below those receiving AAP funding. Such support would provide an integrated pathway for the development of Canadian high-performance athletes.

Section 1: Program Overview

1.1 Program Description

The Athlete Assistance Program (AAP) is a federal government grant program that provides direct financial assistance to Canadian high-performance athletes and is one of three Sport Canada programs designed to assist in the development of high-performance sport. In particular, the AAP complements Sport Canada’s Sport Support Program, which provides support to National Sport Organizations (NSOs) and Canadian Sport Centres for activities such as National Team training and competition, coach salaries and the provision of sport science and sport medicine services.

The AAP contributes toward improved Canadian performances at major international sporting events such as the Olympic/Paralympic Games and World Championships.

The AAP recognizes the commitment that athletes make to the National Team training and competitive programs provided by their NSO and seeks to relieve some of the financial pressures associated with preparing for, and participating in international sport. The AAP financial assistance provides support to athletes in the form of a living and training allowance, plus tuition and supplementary AAP support. The living and training allowance is intended to offset some, but not all, of the living and training expenses athletes incur as a result of their involvement in high-performance sport, while tuition support is intended to help athletes obtain a post-secondary level education. The AAP is the only Sport Canada program that provides direct financial support to athletes.

Eligible Athletes who are approved for funding and are financially supported through the AAP are referred to as carded athletes. AAP support is also known as carding.

Over 1,900 athletes in more than 90 sport disciplines are approved for AAP support each year.

AAP funding may be reduced or terminated at the Minister’s discretion in response to the government’s annual budget, a parliamentary, governmental or departmental spending decision, or a restructuring or re-ordering of the federal mandate and responsibilities that impact on the AAP.

1.2 The AAP Carding Process

NSOs, athletes and Sport Canada are all involved in the AAP carding process. Their respective responsibilities are described in Section 3 (NSO, Athlete and Sport Canada Responsibilities). The table below summarizes the steps involved in the AAP carding process and refers you to the sections describing each part of the process in more detail.

Steps involved in the AAP carding process
Step Section
Sport Canada approves eligible NSOs for funding Minimum Eligibility Requirements for NSOs
Sport Canada allocates cards to eligible NSOs Allocating Cards to Eligible NSOs
NSOs develop AAP-compliant, sport-specific carding criteria that athletes must meet to be nominated for AAP support Carding Criteria
NSOs nominate or re-nominate Eligible Athletes for AAP support according to the sport-specific carding criteria

Minimum Eligibility Requirements for Athletes

Application for and Approval of Cards

Sport Canada reviews and approves nominations based on the NSO’s published, AAP-compliant, sport-specific carding criteria and AAP policies Application for and Approval of Cards
Athletes complete the AAP application form provided by their NSO, as provided by Sport Canada, and sign an Athlete/NSO Agreement

Application for and Approval of Cards

Athlete/NSO Agreement

Eligible Athletes approved for carding receive benefits during the period of time for which they are approved

Financial Benefits

Health Related Circumstances

AAP funding may be withdrawn as a result of

  1. voluntary withdrawal from the AAP, or
  2. withdrawal of carded status

Voluntary Withdrawal from the AAP

Withdrawal of Carded Status

Policy on Anti-doping and AAP Support

Athletes may appeal a Sport Canada AAP Decision (as defined under Section 13). Appeals Policy

Section 2: Eligibility for AAP Support

2.1 Principles of Eligibility for AAP Support

The Athlete Assistance Program (AAP) financial support is limited to athletes in sports whose high-performance (HP) programs are financially supported by Sport Canada following successful completion of the Sport Funding and Accountability Framework (SFAF) process.

In Olympic/Paralympic sports supported by Sport Canada, only disciplines that are on the program of the upcoming Olympic/Paralympic Games are eligible for AAP support.

2.2 Eligibility Requirements for NSOs

Only NSOs that comply with the SFAF Eligibility Elements and receive financial contributions for their national team program from Sport Canada’s Sport Support Program may apply for eligibility under the Athlete Assistance Program.

NOTE: The above is subject to change pending the completion and approval of the Sport Canada – Sport Funding Framework.

The NSO must also meet the following requirements for each of its disciplines as applicable to the satisfaction of the AAP in order to be deemed eligible for AAP support:

2.3 Athlete Eligibility Requirements

Note: It is recommended that the above information be included in the NSO carding criteria.

2.4 Ineligible Athletes

Athletes ineligible to be nominated for AAP support include:

Athletes in Olympic/Paralympic sports are eligible to be nominated for AAP support based on their participation and training for events that are on the Olympic/Paralympic program. Athletes in Olympic/Paralympic sports competing in World Championship events that are not on the Olympic/Paralympic program are not eligible for carding based strictly on performances in those events. Results achieved at World Championships in Olympic/Paralympic Games years will not be used for allocating Senior International cards (SR1), or for allocating Supplementary Support Excellence Living and Training Allowance.

2.5 Other Eligibility Considerations

2.5.1 Athletes Living Outside of Canada

Athletes living outside of Canada are not normally eligible for AAP support. Any exceptions to this requirement must be approved by Sport Canada. An athlete leaving Canada should be fully aware that an exception will be made only through special submissions to Sport Canada by their NSO. Athletes living outside of Canada for athletic or academic purposes must demonstrate to the satisfaction of Sport Canada that appropriate training programs are in place and are being monitored by their NSO. Athletes who have been living full-time outside of Canada for more than two successive years will not normally be considered eligible for AAP benefits. However, if these athletes are competing within the Canadian sport system and representing Canada at international competitions as a member of the NSO National Team, carding may be considered on a case-by-case basis.

2.5.2 Athletes Receiving Athletic Scholarships from Foreign Post-Secondary Educational Institutions

Athletes who are attending any foreign post-secondary educational institution, including National Collegiate Athletic Association (NCAA) institutions, and are receiving an athletic scholarship in any sport, are not eligible to receive AAP support for the months in which they are attending the foreign post-secondary educational institution. This applies also in the rare case where an NCAA affiliated institution is located in Canada. These athletes may be nominated by the NSO for AAP Living and Training support during the months they are involved in national team training and competition activities and not attending the foreign post-secondary institution. In addition, athletes cannot access tuition nor can they defer tuition during the carding cycle during which they are receiving an athletic scholarship from a foreign post-secondary institution.

2.5.3 Non-Carded Athletes Named to an Olympic or Paralympic Team

Athletes who are not carded but who are named to the Canadian Olympic or Paralympic team by the Canadian Olympic Committee (COC) or Canadian Paralympic Committee (CPC) will be carded by Sport Canada at the senior national level (referred to as OLY) for a period of four months prior to the beginning of and including the Olympic/Paralympic Games. For summer Games, this support will be provided during May, June, July and August while winter Games athletes will receive support for December, January, February and March. This applies to athletes who may not be carded for reasons such as living and training outside of Canada, or those unable to commit to the national team program under the regular NSO carding criteria. This also applies to athletes who compete in an event on the program of the upcoming Olympic or Paralympic Games and whose sport does not meet the AAP eligibility requirements for NSOs.

Such athlete funding may be approved before the COC/CPC names its Olympic/Paralympic Team if the following requirements are met:

Athletes receiving this 4 month SR card will be eligible for the following AAP financial benefits during the months in which they are carded:

2.5.4 Upgrades for Carded Athletes Named to Olympic and Paralympic Teams

Athletes already carded at the Development (D) (or first year senior (C1) if applicable in 2024 only) level who are then named to the Canadian Olympic or Paralympic team by the COC or CPC will be upgraded to a senior national card by Sport Canada, effective the same month as the four-month card described in 2.5.3, and continuing to the end of that NSO’s current AAP carding cycle or to the last month, if the athlete was carded for less than 12 months, that an athlete was carded for, whichever comes first.

2.5.5 Athletes in Olympic and Paralympic Sports that do not meet NSO Eligibility Requirements

Athletes who compete in an event on the program of the upcoming Olympic or Paralympic Games and whose sport does not meet the AAP eligibility requirements for NSOs are eligible to be nominated for carding for two consecutive years at the senior level (SR) if they place in the Top16 and Top half of the field (absolute) at the Olympic or Paralympic Games or World Championships in an event that will be included on the Olympic/Paralympic program. The athlete may be carded under this provision for a maximum of four years including access to all financial benefits as defined in section 8.

Athletes who meet the Senior International level (SR1/SR2) requirements of Top 8 and Top half, at the World Championships or Olympic/Paralympic Games will be entitled to additional years under this clause.

Section 3: NSO, Athlete and Sport Canada Responsibilities

When National Sport Organizations (NSOs) nominate Eligible Athletes (as defined in section 6) who then apply for Athlete Assistance Program (AAP) support, they agree to carry out certain responsibilities. Similarly, when Sport Canada approves nominations for AAP support, it agrees to undertake specific responsibilities. This section provides a detailed description of these responsibilities.

3.1 NSO Responsibilities

NSOs are responsible for nominating eligible athletes for AAP support. In making these annual nominations, the NSO agrees to:

The NSO is responsible for facilitating the return to Sport Canada of any overpayment made to an athlete due to late notification of the athlete’s retirement or withdrawal from the AAP. The NSO is also responsible for facilitating the return of any funding that was provided to an athlete as the result of an anti-doping rule violation, a false application or fraudulent misrepresentation on the part of the athlete or the NSO. Only once the funds have been returned, may they be reallocated to another athlete (with the exception of an anti-doping rule violation whereby the funds may not be reallocated. See Section 12).

3.2 Athlete Responsibilities

Athletes applying for AAP support commit to the following responsibilities:

3.3 Sport Canada Responsibilities

In delivering the AAP, Sport Canada agrees to do the following:

Section 4: Allocation of Cards to Eligible NSOs

This section describes the policy and procedures Sport Canada follows to allocate cards to eligible National Sport Organizations (NSOs) and their eligible sport disciplines.

4.1 Policy

The Athlete Assistance Program (AAP) cards are allocated to the following types of sports:

The AAP has three kinds of cards:

Note: The C1 level cards will be discontinued and phased out of the AAP effective the date of publishing of this version of the policy. C1 cards may be applicable in some sport disciplines for a further cycle as per any sport-specific AAP criteria that have already been approved.

Card quotas are allocated to NSOs or their respective sport disciplines on the basis of a number of Senior Cards (International or National).

NSOs may nominate Eligible Athletes for senior or development cards according to their published NSO-approved, AAP-compliant carding criteria up to the maximum of the monetary value of the senior card quota allocated to them.

4.2 Determination of Carding Quotas

Sport Canada regularly reviews the carding quotas for all eligible sport disciplines. This is normally done after every set of Olympic/Paralympic Games for all sport disciplines, both summer and winter. The exact timing of the quota review and the implementation of new quotas may vary and is to be determined by Sport Canada.

The allocation of AAP cards is determined by an objective process and a subjective process.

4.2.1 Objective Process

The objective process used to allocate AAP cards to eligible NSOs takes the following into account:

Given Sport Canada’s priority for sports that demonstrate podium potential at the Olympic and Paralympic Games, as well as the differences between team and individual sports, different approaches and mathematical factors are used within the objective quota process to determine the base and past-performance points.

4.2.2 Subjective Process

The subjective process takes into consideration factors that the objective process cannot adequately capture. The subjective process will allocate cards set aside by Sport Canada for this purpose. This will allow Sport Canada to review and assess sport performances periodically and re-allocate AAP resources to deserving sports as required.

Each eligible sport discipline is reviewed to determine whether it should receive more or fewer AAP cards than the objective process alone would suggest. In team sports, the men’s and women’s programs are considered separately.

The review consists of an assessment that may include, but is not limited to, the following:

In determining the amount of AAP support for Olympic/Paralympic/non-Olympic sport disciplines, Sport Canada will consider the level of Sport Support Program funding to the sport discipline’s National Team Program.

The allocation of cards through the subjective process may also be based on the recommendations of OTP and non-AAP Sport Canada staff.

Sport Canada makes the final decision on the allocation of cards via the subjective process.

4.2.3 Addition of quotas for new sport disciplines

Once a new sport discipline has been deemed eligible to receive a carding quota, Sport Canada will, in consultation with the eligible NSO, determine when the quota will come into effect.

4.2.4 Removal of quotas for sport disciplines

Once a sport discipline has been deemed to be no longer eligible to receive a carding quota, Sport Canada will, in consultation with the eligible NSO, determine when the quota will be terminated.

Section 5: Carding Criteria

This section describes the criteria that athletes must meet in order to be eligible for nomination for Athlete Assistance Program (AAP) support at a given level.

5.1 General Policy

The AAP cards are allocated on the basis of published NSO-approved, AAP-compliant carding criteria.

Senior cards are allocated on the basis of either International or National Criteria.

Development cards are allocated on the basis of sport-specific criteria. There are special considerations for team sports. See Sub-Section 5.4 for details.

Carding cycles are normally 12 months long. Occasionally factors such as the timing of major events may require that the carding cycle be shorter or longer than 12 months in which case a NSO may negotiate a shorter or longer carding cycle with Sport Canada. Under such circumstances athletes nominated for that NSO’s full carding cycle would be carded for a period of more or fewer than 12 months.

Athletes are normally nominated for the full length of a carding cycle, except under the following circumstances:

Nominations of athletes for cards at any level and by any NSO will not be considered for a period that is fewer than four months.

5.2 Policies for Senior Cards

5.2.1 International Criteria

International Criteria recognize and reward Canadian athletes for outstanding performance at World Championships or the Olympic/Paralympic Games. In Olympic and Paralympic sports, only results from events that are on the program of the upcoming Olympic/Paralympic Games will be considered for carding under the International Criteria.

Athletes who meet the International Criteria are eligible to be nominated by their NSO for two consecutive years; the first year card is referred to as SR1; the second, SR2. Eligibility for a SR2 card is contingent on the athlete maintaining a training and competitive program approved by the NSO, on being re-nominated by the NSO, on signing an Athlete/NSO Agreement and completing an AAP Application Form for that year.

Sport Canada establishes the performance standards for International Criteria used to determine eligibility to be nominated for senior cards. The following are the current standards for international criteria.

In Olympic/Paralympic years, new Senior Cards based on the international criteria will be allocated in Olympic/Paralympic sports only on the basis of results achieved in the Olympic/Paralympic Games. Results achieved at World Championships in Olympic/Paralympic Games years will not be used for allocating SR1 cards, or for allocating Supplementary Excellence Living and Training Allowance.

A NSO may further enhance the senior international criterion or include sport specific requirements in order to strengthen the criteria. Any additional requirements imposed by the NSO must be consistent with Sport Canada policies and be approved by Sport Canada.

Note: In cases where the Olympic/Paralympic or World Championship field is restricted by the sport’s International Federation (IF), the International Olympic Committee (IOC), or the International Paralympic Committee (IPC) as a result of qualification processes or other types of entry restrictions, the requirement regarding the top half of the field may be waived by Sport Canada.

In team, crew, pair events, or relay type events, the performance must be achieved by Canadian athletes only. A performance that is the result of teaming up or pairing with athletes from other nations will not be considered for carding purposes.

What if Athletes Compete in Relay Events or Team Type Events?

In individual sports with team type or relay events, athletes who compete in the event may be allocated a Senior International Card (SR1/SR2) if they directly contributed to the top-8/top-half result.

Can Senior Carding Based on International Criteria be Retroactive?

An athlete may be carded at the Senior Card level for a two-year period retroactive to the beginning of the carding cycle in which the athlete is being nominated provided that the NSO has remaining quota space to do so and that:

5.2.2 National Criteria

National Criteria identify athletes who have the potential to achieve International Criteria. Senior cards based on National Criteria are normally allocated for one year at a time and are referred to as SR Cards.

National Criteria for Senior Cards are established by each NSO and are reviewed every year by Sport Canada to ensure that they meet AAP policy requirements. The criteria should, wherever possible, be based on objective results achieved in designated competitions. The competitions that may be used are domestic competitions (preferably National Championships), international competitions, or a combination of both. The competitions used for the National Criteria should be accessible to the majority of the best athletes in Canada and be consistent with the sport’s national team training and competitive program. The criteria may include elements of the NSO’s Podium Pathway and/or Gold Medal profiles or equivalent, where appropriate and applicable.

An athlete is normally expected to improve each year to maintain a Senior Card based on the national criteria. Therefore, the NSO’s Senior Card national criteria must either include incremental performance criteria, or stipulate a maximum number of years an athlete will be supported at this card level. The maximum number of years will vary from sport to sport and is negotiated between Sport Canada and each NSO.

NOTE: C1 Card Phasing Out Guidelines

Cards for athletes who meet the National Criteria for the first time are referred to as C1 Cards. As per section 4.1, the C1 level card is being discontinued. During the phasing out process, C1 carded athletes will, as per previous procedures, be funded at the development card level in the first year they meet the National Criteria for a Senior Card, even if they have been previously carded at the development (D) level.

If, however, the athlete has been previously carded at the SR1 or SR2 level, has been named to the national senior team, has competed in World Championships, or, in the case of team sports, World Championship (Cup) qualifiers, before meeting the National Criteria for the Senior Card for the first time, the athlete will be funded at the Senior Card (SR) level rather than at the Development Card level.

What if an Athlete does not Reach Senior Card Level Based on International Criteria Within the Prescribed Number of Years?

An athlete is expected to improve each year to maintain a Senior Card based on National Criteria and to eventually achieve the International Criteria. If an athlete, having reached the maximum number of years for support based on National Criteria, is nominated as a Senior Card based on National Criteria, the athlete’s year-to-year improvement, progression toward the International Criteria and future potential will be reviewed. On the basis of this review, Sport Canada will, in discussion with the NSO, exercise its discretion in determining whether an additional year of support as a Senior Card based on National Criteria is warranted. If an additional year is granted, the NSO and the athlete must agree on performance targets to be attained by the athlete for carding consideration in subsequent carding cycles.

5.3 Policies for Development Cards

Development Cards (referred to as D cards) are intended to support the developmental needs of younger athletes or new athletes to the sport who clearly demonstrate the potential to achieve the Senior Card International Criteria but are not yet able to meet the Senior Card criteria. Development Cards are allocated for one year at a time.

The financial support provided through Development Cards helps enhance conditions for younger athletes who have not had the same training, coaching, and competitive experience as older athletes and are not yet able to meet the Senior Card criteria. The allocation of Development Cards is intended to ensure that financial support is provided to the athletes with the greatest potential.

Normally, an athlete previously carded at the Senior Card level (C1, SR, SR1, SR2) for more than two years cannot be nominated for a Development Card. An exception may be made, at Sport Canada’s sole discretion, for an athlete carded at the Senior Card level for more than two years. For example, an athlete carded as a Senior Card for two or more years while still competing at the Junior international level may be eligible for a development card.

5.3.1 Development Card Criteria

Criteria for Development Cards are established by the NSO and are reviewed each year by Sport Canada for compliance with the AAP.

The criteria must be objective and clearly demonstrate that the athlete has high-performance potential. Normally, the NSO must establish a maximum number of years for which athletes can be carded at the development card level before achieving senior card status.

NSOs should consider using some or all of the following criteria areas in the development of their Development Card criteria:

5.4 Special Considerations for Team Sports

Cards for team sports are available only to athletes required to be involved in competition and training programs under the auspices of the NSO for significant periods during the carding year. The level of support to each athlete will vary depending on their time involvement with the program.

5.4.1 General Requirements

For athletes to be eligible to receive full funding at any carding level - 12 months of living and training allowance, and tuition support if applicable - a team sport must operate a National Team program of a minimum duration of 60 days in which the carded athletes must participate.

Reduced support may be provided to athletes who participate in a National Team program for a minimum of 30 days and who meet the requirements listed in Sub-Section 2.2 regarding an individualized annual training program and formal monitoring and evaluation. The number of months provided to athletes under such circumstances will be determined at the sole discretion of Sport Canada but will not be fewer than four months in a carding cycle. National Team approved training and competitive days may be calculated on a per month basis however, the months in which an athlete receives payment does not specifically relate to the months that they were involved with the National Team program.

During the carding cycle NSOs may add months for athletes initially nominated for fewer than 12 months if team selection opportunities lead to further training and competitive days for that athlete. Nominations for such additional months must be made according to the NSO’s sport-specific carding criteria.

Athletes will be advised by their NSO when additional months are added to their file. Sport Canada will automatically deposit the funding at the applicable time within the carding cycle.

5.4.2 Athletes Competing on Professional Teams

Athletes who have signed one-way contracts with teams in the National Basketball Association (NBA), the National Hockey League (NHL), or Major League Baseball (MLB) are not eligible for AAP support. An athlete who has signed a contract in one of these leagues will be ineligible for AAP support effective the date the contract is signed through to the conclusion of the contract.

Athletes on contract or regularly competing in leagues other than those identified above—and as determined by Sport Canada—may be eligible for nomination for AAP support under the following circumstances:

5.4.3 The Senior National Team

Both Senior and Development Cards can be assigned to athletes who are members of the Senior National Team. These cards are based on the team’s performance and on the contribution of each athlete to that performance. Senior Cards based on International Criteria are allocated to Eligible Athletes who were members of National Teams that achieved the international performance criteria.

The level and number of months of an athlete’s card will depend on their position on the depth chart and their time commitment to the National Team program.

In order to be eligible for full support - 12 months of Living and Training Allowance and Tuition if applicable - an athlete in a team sport should meet the following minimum standards:

Reduced support may be provided to athletes who participate in the National Team program for a minimum of 30 days and meet the requirements listed in Sub-section 2.2 regarding an individualized annual training program and formal monitoring. This provision would normally be applied to athletes training and competing outside Canada. The level and duration of the support will be considered by Sport Canada on a case-by-case basis but will start at four months, which is the minimum length of time that a card would be considered.

In its carding criteria document, the NSO must explain how the depth chart is determined and how it will be applied to nominate athletes for carding. This explanation should describe how “role players” not among the top players in the team - but who fulfil a specific function on the team - will be placed on the depth chart.

5.4.4 Teams Below the Senior National Team

AAP support to athletes on teams below the Senior National Team level may be provided to eligible NSOs on the basis of their card quotas and the following:

5.5 Establishing Carding Criteria

It is the NSO’s responsibility to develop the carding criteria for National level Senior Cards and Development Cards, as well as the criteria that apply to injured athletes as described in Section 9. Wherever possible, the carding criteria should be based on objective measures.

Opportunities to meet carding requirements should be consistent with a sport’s national training or competitive program and should be accessible to the majority of the best Canadian athletes. Carding criteria should normally be linked to National Team selection criteria and the National Team depth chart for team sports.

The NSO may choose its suite of criteria from the following areas:

The development and approval of the NSO’s carding criteria must include the following steps:

Section 6: Application for and Approval of Cards

This section describes the overall procedure for obtaining Sport Canada approval of National Sport Organization (NSO) carding nominations of Eligible Athletes. It also describes in detail how to prepare an application package for Athlete Assistance Program (AAP) support.

“Eligible Athlete” means an athlete who has met all requirements of the AAP and the published NSO-approved, AAP-compliant carding criteria.

Only nominations of Eligible Athletes will be considered by Sport Canada for carding.

“Irregular Nominations” means a nomination of an athlete who has not met the requirements of the AAP or the published NSO-approved, AAP-compliant carding criteria.

Irregular Nominations will not be considered by Sport Canada and will be returned to the NSO which will be responsible to communicate this to the affected athlete(s) along with the rationale.

The policy of returning to the NSO Irregular Nominations is guided by Sport Canada’s commitment to ensuring transparency and accountability in its allocation of funding support. The administrative process of returning an Irregular Nomination is not an AAP Decision under Section 6 and cannot be appealed under Section 13 of the AAP.

Definition of a Carded Athlete

For the purposes of this document, an athlete is considered carded within any given carding cycle if:

Carded athletes may, based on their status as such, be eligible for additional support either from AAP (e.g. tuition support) or from other parties (e.g. P/T athlete funding programs, sport support services offered through Canadian Olympic and Paralympic Sport Institute Network (COPSIN), etc.)

6.1 General procedures

Notes:

  1. In order for carding status and funding to be granted and processed, Sport Canada must receive the completed AAP Application and direct deposit forms, confirmation that the athlete has signed the Athlete/NSO Agreement and that the athlete has completed the online anti-doping education courses within the carding cycle for which the AAP nomination has been approved.
  2. In the case of underage athletes, (the age of majority is 18 OR 19 depending on the province of residence at the time of completing the application form) the AAP Application form must be signed by the athlete’s parent or legal guardian.

6.2 Procedures for Athletes Not Being Re-nominated for Carding

Maintaining carded status depends on:

If the NSO does not re-nominate a carded athlete for carding support for the new carding cycle, the NSO must:

Following the annual AAP Review Meeting, Sport Canada will inform, in writing, those athletes who have not been re-carded.

6.3 Replacement carding

“Replacement” carding to fill vacant positions caused by retirement, departure from a National Team program, or de-carding during the carding cycle may be provided during the course of the carding year should there be a minimum of four months of carding support remaining in the NSO card quota allocation. The “replacement” athlete must have met the carding criteria and be ranked by the NSO as the next athlete to receive AAP support in the annual AAP review process. Certain restrictions apply to this section based on athletes who have had their carding withdrawn for reasons relating to doping violations (see section 12.1). Prior to funds being reallocated, they must have been returned to the Program by the withdrawn athlete.

6.4 NSO Application Package and Review Meeting

It is the NSO’s responsibility to prepare an application package and to submit this package to Sport Canada. To ensure that funding to carded athletes is not interrupted, the review meeting should be scheduled at least three weeks before the end of the NSO’s carding cycle.

NSOs must send the entire application package to Sport Canada no later than five working days before the annual AAP Review Meeting. NSOs are encouraged to provide their application package to Sport Canada electronically.

6.4.1 Application Package for Individual Sports

The application package for individual sports must contain the following:

6.4.2 Application Package for Team Sports

The application package for team sports must contain the following:

6.4.3 Details of Application Package

Covering Letter
List of Eligible Athletes Being Nominated
Summary of Athletes’ Results – Team Sports
National Team Depth Chart - Team Sports
Rationale Form for Each Athlete Nominated
List of Athletes Not Being Re-nominated for Carding
Outline of the National Team’s Competitive and Training Program
Individual Athlete Plans
Changes to Carding Criteria
Recommendations for Changes in Carding-Cycle Dates – if applicable
Athlete/NSO Agreement

Section 7: Athlete/NSO Agreement

All athletes approved for Athlete Assistance Program (AAP) funding and their National Sport Organization (NSO) must sign an Athlete/NSO Agreement each carding cycle. The NSO must ensure that the Agreement covers not only the dates of the carding cycle, but also the dates of their annual national team program commitments if they differ. This section describes the policies and procedures associated with this agreement.

7.1 Policy

The purpose of the Athlete/NSO agreement is to set out in writing, the rights, responsibilities and obligations of the athlete and the NSO.

The Agreement must clearly specify the following:

Where an athlete and the NSO cannot agree to the terms of their Athlete/NSO Agreement, an athlete’s carding will not be withheld, provided that the athlete agrees in writing, by means of a modified athlete agreement, to all the terms required by Sport Canada and the terms required by the NSO excluding those terms related specifically to commercial aspects. The athlete and the NSO may avail themselves of the mediation services of the SDRCC in order to agree to all the terms.

The Athlete/NSO Agreement is not considered signed if any sections have been unilaterally deleted or altered in any way. Athletes for whom Sport Canada has not received confirmation of signing from the NSO will have their AAP payments withheld until the NSO confirms in writing that the agreement has been signed. The decision to withhold the AAP payments of athletes who have not signed their Athlete/NSO agreement will be made in consultation with the NSO, and the NSO will inform Sport Canada of the reasons why the agreement has not been signed.

All clauses in the Athlete/NSO Agreement must clearly define the athlete’s expected conduct.

The Agreement must be in plain, understandable language. Basic rights such as freedom of speech and confidentiality of medical records must be respected.

7.2 Procedures

An Athlete/NSO agreement must be approved by the NSO and include input from the athletes’ representative.

Between 2015 and 2017, with financial support from Sport Canada, AthletesCAN facilitated a process where athlete and NSO leaders, together with marketing and legal experts (Athlete Agreement Working Group) created an Athlete/NSO Agreement Template upon which to build a fair and reasonable high-performance relationship. The Model Athlete/NSO Agreement (Appendix C) is meant for use by athletes and NSOs as they come to a mutually beneficial, reciprocal agreement to foster the performance relationship.

The Model agreement also includes specific clauses required by Sport Canada. It should be noted that this model agreement goes beyond the Sport Canada requirements for the specific purposes of carding. Some items in the model agreement are not applicable to all sports, and some items important to specific sports may be missing.

The model agreement may be modified as required to accommodate specific situations. For example, individual athletes may need to modify or negotiate specific clauses to fit their situation.

The process also yielded a model Athlete Commercial Agreement (Appendix D) designed to further develop the high-performance relationship and support both parties in their marketing and athletic objectives. Access to international events or the AAP or “carding” should not be suspended solely over a failure or delay in the NSO and Athlete coming to an agreement over mutual commercial obligations.

Separating the athlete / NSO commercial aspects from the performance relationships and including in separate agreements is strongly recommended by the AthletesCAN group of experts, athletes and NSO leaders as a foundation of a respectful, high-performance partnership.

Before signing the Athlete/NSO Agreement, carefully review it to ensure that all terms and conditions agreed upon have been incorporated, and that it is fully understood. To assist in this process, the model agreement is provided with annotations. Please raise any questions or concerns with the designated NSO Contact. For further support, please contact AthletesCAN.

Sport Canada advises that carded athletes and their NSO consign their commercial interests in a document separate from the Athlete/NSO Agreement required by AAP Policies. As a best practice, Sport Canada would invite non-carded athletes to do the same.

Section 8: Financial Benefits

This section sets out the policies and procedures associated with Athlete Assistance Program (AAP) financial benefits.

8.1 Policy

Under the AAP, Eligible Athletes have access to the following benefits:

Eligible Athletes approved for carding by Sport Canada will have their AAP payments deposited directly into their Canadian bank account. Direct deposit instructions are included in the AAP application form.

8.2 Living and Training Allowance

Eligible Athletes approved for carding by Sport Canada will receive a monthly living and training allowance according to carding status. This allowance is usually paid in advance every two months.

Example of monthly living and training allowance according to carding status
Carding Status Monthly Allowance
Senior Card (SR1, SR2, SR) $1,765
Senior Card Injury/Illness (SRI) $1,765
First Year Senior Card (C1)* $1,060
Development Card (D) $1,060

*only applicable until all sport disciplines have phased this level out

8.3 Tuition and Deferred Tuition Support

General Tuition Policies

Tuition support is intended to help carded athletes who meet high-performance training and competitive requirements obtain a post-secondary level education.

The maximum amount payable is $5,500 per carding cycle up to a lifetime maximum of $27,500 for those athletes carded beyond 2017.

Tuition support comes in two forms:

  1. Tuition for carded athletes.
  2. Deferred tuition support for athletes who are no longer carded and who did not fully use their yearly maximum while they were carded.

Tuition support is available for courses at Canadian Universities or Colleges that are publicly-supported. Other Canadian educational institutions may be considered for tuition support on a case-by-case basis and must be pre-approved by the AAP Manager. Tuition will not be paid for schools or educational institutions outside Canada.

Full-time or part-time degree, diploma, or certificate programs at eligible schools qualify for tuition support. Degree programs may be undergraduate, graduate, post-graduate or professional.

National Coaching Certification Program (NCCP) courses taken at a National Coaching Institute (NCI) or through another avenue qualify for tuition support. These courses may be taken on a full-time or part-time basis.

Courses that are recognized for credits toward apprenticeships in trades or professions and correspondence/on-line courses leading to a degree, diploma, or certificate, as determined by the AAP, may also qualify for tuition support.

AAP will cover a carded athlete’s tuition fees up to a maximum of $5,500 per carding cycle, for courses/semesters that either start or end within their carding cycle.

Under the deferred tuition policies, the AAP will cover tuition fees of athletes who are no longer carded up to a maximum of $5,500 per fiscal year, for courses/semesters that either started, ended or were paid within the fiscal year (between April 1 and March 31)

The following ancillary fees are not supported by the AAP:

Athletes must claim tuition fees within one year from the date of completion of the course.

Athletes eligible for Tuition Support who are awarded financial support from a Canadian post-secondary institution remain eligible for Tuition Support if the award does not offset full tuition fees.

Schools Outside of Canada

Carded athletes who are attending post-secondary institutions outside of Canada, including NCAA institutions or on-line courses, and are receiving an athletic scholarship in any sport are not eligible for Tuition Support, nor are they able to accumulate deferred tuition during any carding cycle that they are attending school on a scholarship outside of Canada (and in the rare case where an NCAA affiliated institution is located in Canada). If an athlete can provide confirmation from the NCAA institution that they are no longer attending under scholarship, they may be eligible to access tuition or to defer tuition.

Payment Procedures

Tuition Payment Procedures for Canadian Publicly Supported Educational Institutions

Carded athletes who are attending an eligible Canadian, publicly-supported educational institution may request a tuition voucher from the AAP which allows eligible fees up to the maximum available to that athlete, to be paid in advance directly to the institution. A tuition voucher will not be provided to a carded athlete attending a private educational institution or an institution that cannot invoice AAP directly.

The following procedures apply:

If it is not possible for AAP to pay Tuition Support directly to the carded athlete’s approved educational institution, the carded athlete will be reimbursed directly. The carded athlete must send the following two documents to the AAP within one year from the date of completion of the course:

  1. A copy of an official receipt of payment. This may be an invoice stamped by the institution indicating payments made, an official transcript of fees and payments received, or a written receipt of payment on official educational institution letterhead. The receipt must include a breakdown of the fees paid.
  2. Proof of course completion (e.g., student transcript or official letter from the Canadian institution).

NOTE: Acquiring official transcripts is at the athlete’s expense.

Upon receipt of proof of course completion and a copy of the payment receipt, the AAP reimburses the carded athlete directly for the approved tuition request up to the maximum of $5,500 per carding cycle.

Deferred Tuition Eligibility and Payment Procedures

Eligibility

Deferred tuition is available to assist athletes who were unable to pursue full-time post-secondary education while carded because of their involvement in high-performance sport.

Athletes must be eligible to attend a post-secondary educational institution during the year they are carded in order to accumulate deferred tuition.

Athletes may defer a maximum of $5,500 per carding cycle when carded, for a maximum of five carding cycles.

Athletes have seven years from their last date of carding to use any accumulated deferred tuition.

Athletes who are attending post-secondary institutions outside of Canada, including NCAA institutions, and are receiving an athletic scholarship in any sport are not eligible to receive AAP support for the months in which they are attending the foreign post-secondary institution (section 2.5.2), nor are they able to accumulate deferred tuition during any carding cycle that they are attending school on a scholarship outside of Canada.

Payment Procedures

The AAP reimburses the athlete directly; it does not make deferred tuition payments to the Canadian educational institutions.

The following procedures apply:

8.4 Supplementary AAP Support

Policy

Supplementary AAP Support is available to carded athletes in the following situations:

Certain requests for Supplementary AAP Support may require a recommendation, supporting evidence or endorsement by the NSO. The AAP will contact the NSO in such cases.

Supplementary AAP Support is limited to a maximum of $13,000 per carding cycle (excluding Relocation and Retirement support). In certain circumstances, a carding cycle may be longer than 12 months however the maximum does not change in those circumstances.

Supplementary AAP Support requests must be for the current carding year with the exception of Retirement Assistance, which must be requested within one year of the first day of their retirement.

Excellence Living and Training Allowance

Athletes achieving a top 3 placing (a medal must be awarded and the athlete must have contributed to the medal performance in the case of team sports) at the most recent Olympic/Paralympic Games or World Championships in events on the program of the upcoming Olympic/Paralympic Games may be eligible for additional Living and Training Allowance regardless of the level of card they are nominated for in the following year (some sports set higher standards that the AAP international criteria). Only one medal result per athlete per Olympic/Paralympic Games or World Championship will be considered and results achieved at World Championships in Olympic/Paralympic Games years will not be used for allocating Supplementary Excellence Living and Training Allowance.

Excellence Living and Training Allowance
Total income Eligible Allowance amount
$65,000+ $0
$64,000 to $64,999 $1,000
$63,000 to $63,999 $2,000
$62,000 to $62,999 $3,000
$61,000 to $61,999 $4,000
$60,000 to $60,999 $5,000
Lower than $60,000 $6,000

Child Dependent Allowance

Assistance is available to all carded athletes in supporting their “child dependents”. To be eligible to apply for the Child Dependent Allowance, carded athletes must:

Allowance amount for athletes whose income from all sources is less than $70,000 per year
Total income: Eligible Allowance amount
$75,000+ $0
$74,000 to $74,999 $1,000
$73,000 to $73,999 $2,000
$72,000 to $72,999 $3,000
$71,000 to $71,999 $4,000
$70,000 to $70,999 $5,000
Lower than $70,000 $6,000

Training and Competition Allowance for Paralympic Athletes with High Support Needs

Carded Paralympic athletes with high support needs, as defined by the International Paralympic Committee (IPC), competing in the classification groups identified below, who meet the below criteria may apply for Supplementary AAP Support:

Training and Competition Allowance for athletes with a disability
Total income: Eligible Allowance amount
$75,000+ $0
$74,000 to $74,999 $1,000
$73,000 to $73,999 $2,000
$72,000 to $72,999 $3,000
$71,000 to $71,999 $4,000
$70,000 to $70,999 $5,000
Lower than $70,000 $6,000

Note: The NSO must advise the AAP of any change of athlete classification.

Relocation Assistance

When carded athletes move permanently to an NSO-designated National Team Training Centre or a permanent training location in the case of decentralized sports to pursue their high-performance athletic career, the AAP may assist in offsetting some of the relocation costs. The AAP will support only two moves during a carded athlete’s career, either from home to the training centre/location or from the training centre to the carded athlete’s home, under the following conditions:

The following procedures apply for payment:

Retirement Assistance

Athletes who have been carded for a minimum of three years at a Senior Card level (C1, SR, SR1, SR2 and SRI) may apply for a one-time maximum Retirement Assistance of $5,000 to assist in their transition to retirement, within one year of the first day of their retirement.

Carded athletes applying for Retirement Assistance must provide:

The following procedures apply for payment:

Section 9: Health Related Circumstances

This section describes Athlete Assistance Program (AAP) policy and procedures for dealing with a carded athlete’s illness, injury, pregnancy or other health-related circumstance.

9.1 Policy

Each National Sport Organization (NSO) should have policy for handling illness, injury, pregnancy and other health-related circumstances.

9.1.1 Short-term Curtailment of Training and Competition for Health-Related Reasons

Health-related circumstances that limit a carded athlete’s training and competition for four months or fewer are a matter strictly between the NSO and the athlete and do not fall under AAP policy. Carded athletes so affected will continue to receive AAP financial support.

9.1.2 Long-term Curtailment of Training and Competition for Health-Related Reasons

Carded athletes who are unable to maintain full training and competition commitments for longer than four months because of injury, illness or pregnancy will continue to receive 100 percent of the AAP financial support to which they would otherwise be entitled, provided the following conditions are met:

9.1.3 Failure to Meet Renewal Criteria for Health-Related Reasons

A carded athlete who, at the end of the carding cycle has not achieved the standard required for the renewal of carding status because of strictly health related reasons, may be considered for re-nomination for the upcoming year provided the following conditions are met:

9.1.4 Voluntary Withdrawal from Carded-Athlete Training and Competition for Health-Related Reasons

If a carded athlete wishes, for reasons related to injury, illness, pregnancy or other health-related circumstance, to voluntarily withdraw temporarily or permanently from normal training and competition requirements, the procedures for voluntary withdrawal from the AAP apply (see Section 10). The athlete will no longer be eligible for monthly Living and Training Allowance but will be eligible, if qualified, for deferred tuition and/or Supplementary AAP Retirement Allowance.

Section 10: Voluntary Withdrawal from the AAP or Declining AAP Support

This section describes the policy and procedures associated with voluntary withdrawal from the Athlete Assistance Program (AAP) or declining AAP support.

10.1 Policy

10.1.1 Voluntary Withdrawal from the AAP

Athletes may withdraw voluntarily from the AAP. This may involve retiring permanently, or temporarily relinquishing the commitments of carding.

Those wishing to withdraw voluntarily should express their wish to do so to their National Sport Organization (NSO).

Should a NSO fail to notify Sport Canada in a timely manner of a carded athlete’s voluntary withdrawal and should this result in overpayment of AAP funds to that athlete, the NSO must facilitate the return of the overpaid funds to Sport Canada.

Carded athletes who retire permanently in mid-carding cycle will be entitled to two months of L/T allowance (and any already-approved supplementary support allowances) past the date of retirement within the carding cycle for transitional support* to help them adjust to their post-athletic situation. This does not preclude the athlete from applying for or receiving Supplementary AAP Retirement Allowance, Deferred Tuition or Relocation Assistance. (see Sub-Section 8.1).

*Such transitional support does not increase the total number of months of carding previously approved by the AAP, but allows athletes who retire mid-carding cycle to receive two of the remaining months left in their specific carding allocation if any remain at the time of retirement.

10.1.2 Declining AAP Support

If approved for carding, Eligible Athletes, may decline AAP support. If an athlete declines AAP financial support, the AAP support will go to the next ranked athlete that meets the published NSO-approved, AAP-compliant carding criteria.

Declining AAP support means that the athlete receives no Living and Training Allowance, Tuition Support or Supplementary AAP Support, but continues to be eligible to receive services from Canadian Sport Centres/Institutes. Athletes may however, access deferred tuition funds if they have any accumulated from previously carded years.

Declining AAP support for one year does not preclude the athlete from future funding, and the athlete retains the recognition as a “carded” athlete based on the level at which they qualify. For example, the limit on the number of years to use any accumulated deferred tuition is based on the “last day of carding” which in some cases, may mean it was a year that an athlete officially declined a nomination for carding.

10.2 Procedures

10.2.1 Voluntary Withdrawal from the AAP

When a NSO becomes aware or is informed that a carded athlete wishes to voluntarily withdraw from the AAP, it must advise the AAP in writing of the effective date of withdrawal.

Before Sport Canada withdraws a carded athlete’s AAP support because of that athlete’s decision to voluntarily withdraw from the AAP:

After this 30 day period is over and due consideration has been given to any representations made by or on behalf of the athlete, Sport Canada may withdraw the athlete’s carded status or continue AAP support if it is determined that the athlete has not voluntarily withdrawn from the AAP.

Any allowances previously paid to the athlete beyond the two month period of transitional support must be refunded by the athlete to the Receiver General for Canada. It is the responsibility of the NSO to facilitate the return of these funds to Sport Canada and the funds may not be reallocated until they have been returned to the AAP.

Section 11: Withdrawal of Carded Status

This section describes the policy and procedures associated with withdrawal of carded status.

11.1 Policy

Carded Athletes may have their carded status suspended or withdrawn under the following conditions:

In most cases, the NSO makes the recommendation that carded status be withdrawn; however, Sport Canada may also withdraw carded status without a recommendation from the NSO. These situations are noted in the following sections.

Policies on anti-doping and AAP funding are outlined in Section 12.

11.2 Procedure

11.2.1 Failure to Meet Training or Competition Commitments

Failure to meet agreed upon training or competition commitments may include:

Note: Failure to achieve preset performance objectives does not in itself establish failure to meet agreed upon training or competition commitments.

If a NSO wishes to recommend withdrawal of carded status for an alleged failure to meet agreed upon training and competitive commitments, the NSO must first:

If the above steps are not successful in resolving the matter and the NSO still wishes to recommend withdrawal of carded status, the NSO must provide written notification to the AAP, with a copy to the athlete, recommending withdrawal of the athlete’s carded status. This written notification must:

Following receipt of a written notification from a NSO recommending withdrawal of an athlete’s carded status, the AAP will:

Once the period for initiating an appeal has expired and the athlete has not filed an appeal, the NSO must advise the AAP of the following in writing, with a copy to the athlete:

Pending the resolution of an appeal, Sport Canada will continue to provide the athlete with AAP Living and Training Allowances for two months after the NSO’s initial notification recommending withdrawal of the athlete’s carded status.

If an appeal process continues for more than two months, the athlete may request that Sport Canada continue AAP support on a monthly basis until the appeal is resolved. Sport Canada will consider representations from the athlete to continue AAP support pending resolution of the appeal, based on the fact that:

Sport Canada may approve continued AAP funding subject to conditions.

The NSO must notify the AAP of the outcome of the appeal process and make a recommendation to Sport Canada that conforms to the final appeal decision.

When Sport Canada considers the recommendation made by the NSO, it may:

If Sport Canada decides to withdraw the athlete’s carded status, the AAP must notify the athlete of the decision and the reasons behind the decision.

If Sport Canada wishes to withdraw an athlete’s carded status for allegedly failing to meet training or competition requirements without the NSO’s recommendation, the steps listed below under Investigations for Cause will apply.

11.2.2 Violation of the Athlete/NSO Agreement

If an athlete allegedly violates any of the obligations specified in his or her Athlete/NSO Agreement, the NSO may recommend withdrawal of carded status. In such cases, the steps listed in Failure to Meet Training or Competitive Commitments will apply.

11.2.3 The Athlete’s Failure to Meet Responsibilities Outlined in AAP Policies

If Sport Canada wishes to withdraw an athlete’s carded status because it has reason to believe the athlete has failed to meet responsibilities outlined in AAP policies, the steps listed in Investigation for Cause will apply.

11.2.4 Gross Breach of Discipline Including Assertion of, or Prosecution of a Criminal Offence

If the NSO wishes to recommend withdrawal of an athlete’s carded status for an alleged gross breach of discipline, the steps listed in Failure to Meet Training or Competitive Commitments will apply.

If Sport Canada wishes to withdraw an athlete’s carded status, without the NSO’s recommendation, because it has reason to believe the athlete has committed a gross breach of discipline, the steps listed in Investigation for Cause will apply.

If the NSO wishes to recommend the suspension or withdrawal of an athlete’s carded status for an assertion of, or prosecution of a criminal offence, the following steps will apply:

11.2.5 Investigation for Cause

Investigation for cause may include, but is not limited to, making a false application to obtain AAP benefits for which the carded athlete would not otherwise have been eligible (for example, the AAP Living and Training Allowance, Tuition Support, or Supplementary AAP Support).

The following occurs in situations where Sport Canada wishes to pursue an investigation for cause:

Sport Canada may approve continued support subject to conditions.

Following receipt of the NSO’s report of its investigation, Sport Canada may:

If Sport Canada decides to withdraw carded status, the AAP Manager will notify the athlete of the allegations against them. The AAP Manager will also notify the athlete that they may make representations to Sport Canada stating the reasons why Sport Canada should not withdraw carded status. The athlete will also be advised that where there are valid reasons, a Sport Canada decision to withdraw carded status may be appealed by following the appeal procedures in Section 13.

Sport Canada reserves the right to impose penalties for a false application above and beyond the immediate withdrawal of carded status. For example, Sport Canada may declare the athlete ineligible for AAP benefits for one full year from the time of the finding of a false application.

Athletes who have their carded status withdrawn because of a false application must refund any AAP benefits received. Furthermore, since NSOs endorse all AAP applications, NSOs are responsible for facilitating the refunding of AAP benefits by athletes in these circumstances.

11.2.6 Anti-Doping Rule Violations

Athletes who are asserted to have committed an anti-doping rule violation by the Canadian Centre for Ethics in Sport (CCES), an International Federation, a Major Games Organization, the World Anti-Doping Agency or any other anti-doping organization, will have their carded status placed on hold pending resolution of the matter.

The AAP will advise the athlete of any such hold.

If it is determined that an athlete has committed and is sanctioned for an anti-doping rule violation, Sport Canada will withdraw that athlete’s carded status from the date of the sport ineligibility.

Note: For more information on the anti-doping policy related to AAP funding, refer to Section 12.

Section 12: Policy on Anti-doping and AAP Support

This section describes the anti-doping policy related to Athlete Assistance Program (AAP) funding.

12.1 Policy

Athletes must respect and comply with the Canadian Policy Against Doping in Sport-2011, as amended from time to time, and the Canadian Anti-Doping Program (CADP) of the Canadian Centre for Ethics in Sport (CCES) as a condition of funding under the AAP.

Furthermore, athletes must complete the CCES on line anti-doping education modules at the beginning of their carding cycle, and at times thereafter as required by Sport Canada. Failure to do so will result in AAP payments being withheld until requirements are completed.

It is the responsibility of the CCES to inform Sport Canada of an adverse analytical finding under the CADP or any other assertions by CCES that an athlete has committed an anti-doping rule violation.

It is the responsibility of the NSO to inform Sport Canada of all adverse analytical findings resulting from international testing or any other assertions that an athlete has committed an anti-doping rule violation.

If an athlete is asserted to have committed an anti-doping rule violation by CCES, an International Federation, a Major Games Organization, the World Anti-Doping Agency or any other anti-doping organization, AAP benefits will be placed on hold pending the determination of an anti-doping rule violation or until such time as a final ruling is made on any subsequent appeal.

If it is determined that no anti-doping rule violation occurred and there is no subsequent appeal, the athlete’s AAP benefits will be reinstated from the date of the suspension of AAP funding.

Any athlete who has been sanctioned for an anti-doping rule violation pursuant to or recognized under the CADP or its predecessors resulting in a period of sport ineligibility of less than two years is ineligible to receive any AAP support while serving their sport ineligibility sanction and is also ineligible to be nominated for AAP support during this time.

Following the period of ineligibility for AAP support, the athlete must meet the published NSO-approved, AAP-compliant carding criteria for the carding cycle for which the athlete is applying for support including all other AAP eligibility requirements.

An athlete, who has been sanctioned for an anti-doping rule violation pursuant to or recognized under the CADP or its predecessors resulting in a two year period of sport ineligibility or greater and, where applicable, has not been reinstated, is permanently ineligible to receive any AAP support (including access to any deferred tuition credit the athlete may have had).

If an athlete’s carding is withdrawn because of a finding that an anti-doping rule has been violated and the athlete is sanctioned with sport ineligibility, the athlete’s carding cannot be allocated to another athlete during that carding cycle.

For more information on sanctions related to anti-doping, refer to Sport Canada’s Anti-Doping Sanctions.

Section 13: Appeals Policy

This section presents the appeals policy of the Athlete Assistance Program (AAP).

Definitions

For the purposes of this section:

Appeal does not include an appeal of a National Sport Organization’s AAP nomination/re-nomination decision or of a NSO’s recommendation to withdraw carding. These NSO decisions may be appealed only through the NSO’s review process, which includes an application to the Sport Dispute Resolution Centre of Canada.

Appeal does not include an appeal of the administrative process of returning Irregular Nominations to the NSO as described in Section 6 (Application for and Approval of Cards).

For greater certainty, Appeal does not include a review of a published NSO-approved, AAP-compliant carding criteria;

13.1 Policy Statement

Sport Canada is committed to a dispute-resolution system that is based on clear, consistent, and effective internal procedures for resolving disputes within Sport Canada.

13.1.1 Timing of Appeal

An athlete or a NSO who wishes to appeal an AAP Decision shall have 15 days from the communication of the decision for which the Appeal is being requested to initiate an appeal.

Any party wishing to initiate an appeal beyond the 15 day period must provide a written request stating the reasons for requesting an exemption from the requirement of the above paragraph. The decision to allow or not allow an appeal outside the 15 day period shall be at the sole discretion of the Sport Canada Senior Director of the Programs Division and cannot be appealed.

13.1.2 Requests for Appeal

Requests for an appeal of an AAP Decision, together with the reasons why the athlete or NSO is requesting an appeal, must be directed to the Manager of the AAP, who will refer the matter to the Panel for a decision.

The Panel will first assess if there are grounds for an appeal. An appeal may only be heard if there are sufficient grounds for appeal. Grounds for appeal include, but are not limited to:

  1. Insufficient authority or jurisdiction as set out in the governing documents;
  2. Procedural fairness;
  3. Legitimate expectation.

The Claimant must demonstrate, on a balance of probabilities, that the Respondent has made a procedural error as described in the above ‘grounds for appeal’ and that this error had, or may reasonably have had, a material effect on the decision or decision-maker.

If the appeal is denied on the basis of insufficient grounds the Claimant will be notified, in writing, of the reasons for this decision. This decision may not be appealed.

13.1.3 Procedure for Documentary Appeal

The appeal shall be held by way of documentary submissions. The Panel shall govern the appeal by such procedures as it deems appropriate, provided that the basic principles of fairness—the right to know the case to be met and the right to make a case in response—are respected:

13.1.4 Information that may be Considered

As a general rule, the Panel will consider only information that was before the original decision maker, namely the following:

At its discretion, the Panel may consider new information that is material and that was not available at the time of the original decision.

13.1.5 Decision

Within 30 days of concluding the Appeal, the Panel shall issue its written decision, with reasons. In making its decision, the Panel shall have no greater authority than that of the original decision-maker. The Panel may decide to void, vary or confirm the decision being appealed.

13.2 Recourse Against a Decision of the Panel

An athlete or a NSO may seek recourse against a decision of the Panel only by applying for dispute resolution to the Sport Dispute Resolution Centre of Canada within 30 days of the communication of the decision that is being appealed.

The dispute resolution referred to in the previous paragraph will be conducted under the auspices of the SDRCC and pursuant to its Code of Procedure.

By applying for dispute resolution of a decision of the Panel before the SDRCC, the applicant agrees that all disputes regarding that decision shall be resolved through the SDRCC process and that he or she will not start any action or application for judicial review regarding any decision made by the Panel.

Notwithstanding any provisions of the SDRCC Code of Procedure, the decision being appealed may be set aside by the SDRCC arbitrator or by the SDRCC panel only if the athlete or NSO proves the following:

In cases where the decision being appealed is one taken by Sport Canada under Section 6 (Application for and Approval of Cards), the decision being appealed may be set aside only if the athlete or NSO proves that such breach in the decision-making process had a material impact on the athlete's ability to meet the established carding criteria.

The jurisdiction of the SDRCC arbitrator or SDRCC panel is limited to making a decision on the existence of an error and, where there is such a finding, to returning the matter with written reasons for the finding to Sport Canada for a proper decision.

Sport Canada will reconsider the matter in accordance with the principles established by the decision of the SDRCC arbitrator or SDRCC panel and render a new decision. This new Sport Canada decision shall be final and binding upon the parties.

Appendix A: Athlete Rationale Form - Individual Sports

Athlete’s name:

National Team Level:

Card Level Nomination:

Rationale for carding (which criteria did the athlete met):

Personal coach:

Training location:

University/school (if applicable):

Fitness testing results (if required for carding support):

How will the athlete’s training be monitored?

National Team Coach’s comments on the athlete’s performance in the previous year and on the athlete’s objective for upcoming year:

Appendix B: Athlete Rationale Form - Team Sports

Athlete’s name:

National Team Level:

Card Level Nomination:

Number of months:

Position & rank at position:

Overall rank on team:

Personal coach:

Training location:

Club/team name:

League:

Professional: Yes/No

University/school (if applicable):

International caps:

Fitness testing results (if required for carding support):

How will the athlete’s training be monitored?

National Team Coach’s comments on the athlete’s performance in the previous year and on the athlete’s objective for upcoming year:

Appendix C: Model Athlete/National Sport Organization (NSO) Agreement Annotated

Table of contents

THIS AGREEMENT as of [ month] [ day], [ year]

BETWEEN: [NAME OF ATHLETE], residing at:

ADDRESS

(the “Athlete”)

AND:

[NAME OF NSO], a registered Canadian amateur athletic association having its registered office at:

ADDRESS

(the “National Sport Organization” or “NSO”)

Background Information

  1. The NSO is recognized by the [Name of International Federation (“IF”)], Canadian Olympic Committee (“COC”), Canadian Paralympic Committee (“CPC”), and the Government of Canada as the national governing body for the sport of [sport].
  2. The NSO strives to deliver a world-leading program and enter a National Team into competition that achieves the best international results it possibly can.
  3. The Athlete has exceptional and unique knowledge, skill and ability in the sport of [sport] and wishes to compete for Canada as a member of the NSO’s National Team.
  4. Execution of this Agreement means that both parties understand the mutual obligations set out in this Agreement, including their mutual responsibility to comply with requirements of external sport governance bodies including the International Olympic Committee (“IOC”), the International Paralympic Committee (“IPC”), the International Federation (“IF”), the Canadian Centre for Ethics in Sport (“CCES”) and the World Anti-Doping Agency (“WADA”).
  5. The Sport Canada Athlete Assistance Program (the “AAP”) requires these mutual obligations to be stated in a written agreement to be signed by the NSO and the Athlete who applies for assistance under the AAP.

In consideration of the mutual obligations contained in this agreement, the parties agree as follows:

Term And Scope of The Agreement

  1. This Agreement is effective from [Month day, year] to [Month day, year].
  2. The Athlete is a member of the National Team for the duration of this Agreement.

Related Policies and Agreements

The parties agree that the policies and agreements listed in this section are integral to the Athlete and NSO relationship and are contained as appendices to this Agreement. The NSO agrees to make these available to the Athlete, either online or in hardcopy, and the Athlete agrees to follow these policies:

  1. NSO Anti-Doping Policy;
  2. NSO Injury Status Policy;
  3. NSO Code of Conduct;
  4. NSO Discrimination and Harassment Policy;
  5. NSO Equipment Information;
  6. NSO Fee Schedule;
  7. NSO Governance Policies;
  8. NSO Insurance Policies;
  9. NSO Notice of Appeal;
  10. NSO Relocation Policy;
  11. NSO Social Media Policy;
  12. NSO Trust Policy;
  13. NSO Appeals Policy;

From time to time, the NSO’s existing policies may be updated or changed and the Board of Directors of the NSO may approve new policies. This Agreement contains the most recent policies at the time of signing. The NSO will inform the Athlete of any changes to its policies and agreements, and will always have the most current version of its policies available through the usual communications of the NSO.

Definitions

Unless otherwise stated, in this Agreement:

AAP
means Sport Canada’s Athlete Assistance Program; also referred to as “carding”;
Agreed Upon Training Plan
means a schedule of mandatory training programs and competitions tailored to the individual needs of the Athlete to progress towards achieving agreed upon objectives and goals of the Athlete and National Team;
Agreement
means this written agreement;
Athlete
means one of the parties to the Agreement, listed above;
Athlete Commercial Agreement, or ACA
means a separate and optional contract entered into between the NSO and Athlete detailing obligations of the parties in furthering their commercial and non-commercial mutual interests;
AthletesCAN
means the association of Canada’s National Team athletes;
Athletes’ Council
means a group of Athlete Representatives, usually from diverse genders, disciplines and classifications, governed by written or unwritten terms and elected or selected to meet, discuss and communicate positions and feedback representing all athletes in the sport governed by the NSO;
Athlete’s Emergency Contact
means a person designated by the Athlete to the NSO, such as a parent, close family member, close friend or spouse, who the NSO will contact in the event of an emergency;
Athlete Representative
means the athlete or athletes elected or selected to act as a representative of all athletes within the sport governed by the NSO at decision-making bodies such as the NSO’s committees or the NSO’s Board of Directors, and may include Athletes’ Council members;
Athlete Sponsor
means any entity, whether characterized by Athlete as a Sponsor, supplier, licensee or otherwise, with whom the Athlete has a contract to use, market, advertise, or promote their products or services;
Banned Substance
means those substances and methods listed in the Canadian Centre for Ethics in Sport’s list of “banned and restricted Doping Classes and Methods” with any such additional substances as may from time to time be added to the said list by the various governing bodies of the sport, the NSO, or such other recognized body having at the time jurisdiction over the sport;
Business Day
means Monday through Friday, from 9am to 5pm Eastern Time, and excludes weekends and public holidays;
CADP
means the Canadian Anti-Doping Program;
CCES
means the Canadian Centre for Ethics in Sport;
COC
means the Canadian Olympic Committee;
CPC
means the Canadian Paralympic Committee;
Default Notice
means a written document given by one party to this Agreement to the other party that outlines particulars of an alleged default (failure to conform to obligations under this Agreement) and how the situation can be remedied. Providing Default Notice is the first step in the dispute resolution procedure (see the Dispute Resolution Method section);
Designated Contact
means the individual designated by the NSO as the Athlete’s main contact for questions, concerns and communication regarding this Agreement;
Fee Schedule
means the schedule of when an Athlete will have to pay any fees or costs associated with participation on the national team, and the amount;
HPD
means High Performance Director;
HPP
means High Performance Program;
IF acronym
means the [IF name], which is the International governing body for the sport of [sport];
IF
means the International Federation, which is the [IF name];
IOC
means the International Olympic Committee;
IPC
means the International Paralympic Committee;
IST
means Integrated Support Team and is a multi-disciplinary team of sport science, sport medicine and sport performance professionals including experts in exercise physiology, mental performance, biomechanics, performance analysis, nutrition, strength, conditioning, medicine, physical therapy, massage therapy, and sport administration;
Major Games National Team
means the athletes, coaches and necessary support staff selected to form a Canadian team for an Olympic, Paralympic, Commonwealth, Pan or Parapan American, or Federation international du sport universitaire (FISU). This term is not limited to athletes receiving AAP; [NOTE: This type of separate team identifier could be included for other events such as world cups, tours, etc. under a different name.]
Marketing Rights
means promotional and advertising rights to photographs, video or film images, or other likenesses or images of the Athlete, Athlete’s image, voice, name, personality, likeness and fame gained in [specific sport] as a member of the NSO National Team to promote the NSO and its high-performance program and athletes, and includes all Athlete images whether captured in competition, training or other NSO Sanctioned Activities used in any media whatsoever (print, video, digital, social, etc.);
National Team
means the athletes, coaches and necessary support staff selected to form a Canadian team for an international competition (may include World Cups, international opens, or other particularly meaningful events). This term is not limited to athletes receiving AAP;
Non-Commercial Use
means any use of Marketing Rights by the NSO solely for the purposes of promoting the NSO using NSO marks on a stand-alone basis, or in conjunction with non-commercial third parties such as [Int’l Federation] marks or NSO/IF event marks, but not affiliated or attached to any NSO partner promotion, activation or activity;
NSO Sanctioned Activities
means all NSO training camps, competitions, fitness testing, NSO or IF technical meetings, press conferences, fundraising activities, meet and greets and personal appearances/promotional days;
NSO sponsor
means any entity, whether characterized by NSO as a sponsor, supplier, licensee or otherwise, with whom the NSO has a contract to use, market, advertise, or promote their products or services;
Personal Equipment
means equipment provided by the Athlete or the Athlete Sponsor;
Personal Information

means information collected about an identifiable individual, which may include information concerning:

  1. the physical or mental health of an individual;
  2. any health service provided to an individual; or
  3. the donation by the individual of any body part or any bodily substance of the individual or information derived from the testing or examination of a body part or bodily substance of the individual.
Privacy Officer
means the person responsible for privacy within the NSO;
[Progress Report Form or other name]
means the document provided to the Athlete by the NSO to track the status of progress of the Athlete’s yearly training plan on a [monthly] basis;
Team Uniform and Equipment
means uniform and equipment provided by the NSO or through an NSO Sponsor;
SDRCC
means the Sport Dispute Resolution Center of Canada;
WADA
means the World Anti-Doping Agency.

Obligations

Team Selection & Eligibility

This section of the Agreement addresses general eligibility requirements and how a team is selected. Eligibility refers to whether an athlete is qualified for, or allowed to take part as a member of a specific team that is managed by the NSO based on certain criteria. Team selection is the specific process by which any given team is selected, for example, for a specific competition. Competition-specific selection criteria can be found at the link provided in this section.

As a general principle, it is important to have clearly outlined terms as to how teams are selected to ensure that prospective team members understand how they will be selected and can prepare accordingly. The more ambiguity or vague language that a set of criteria has, the more likely that there will be confusion, which can lead to disputes between an Athlete and an NSO.

At section 5(h), the NSO is required to conduct selection of members in conformity with “generally accepted principles of natural justice and procedural fairness.” These are legal terms, which give rights to groups and individuals who are affected by the decisions made by a decision-making body, in this case, the NSO. For example, if an Athlete is not selected to a team, the Athlete should clearly understand why that is the case. They have a right to know the reasons for the decision. Another example is that an Athlete should have the right to appeal a decision where they believe the decision was made unfairly, with bias, or having improperly applied the criteria. While these legal concepts are nuanced and complex when they are applied, the most important thing for the Athlete to understand is that they have rights when the NSO’s decisions affect them, and should not hesitate to ask questions if they believe they have been unfairly treated during team selection, or in any other situation.

This section also explains that the NSO is responsible for identifying how an Athlete can stay on the specific team once they are chosen. If the NSO’s obligations in this section and requirements in a given selection policy are not followed, an Athlete can file a Notice of Appeal by the appropriate deadline pursuant to the [name of NSO Appeals Policy].

It is important that the Athlete also understands their responsibilities under this section. The Athlete is responsible for reading all information on team selection and eligibility provided by the NSO. Additionally, the Athlete may be responsible for remaining in “good standing” as per the eligibility criteria and per the rules/policies of the NSO, which can be found on the NSO’s website and as an appendix to this Agreement. For example, if the Athlete has to miss a competition or training camp for a legitimate reason, they must inform the NSO to ensure that they will not be penalized and/or jeopardize their standing on the team.

The NSO will:

The Athlete:

Uniforms and Equipment

This section indicates what uniforms, equipment and apparel the Athlete is required to wear and at which times, and who will pay for it. Terms in this section of the Agreement will explain when the uniforms, equipment and apparel will be acquired, when and how it is to be worn, and whether the Athlete must return any of it upon the expiration of this Agreement.

Regarding sponsorship, the NSO may seek to obtain the right to put sponsor or commercial logos on the uniform, equipment, or apparel. This section may also articulate guidelines that prohibit the Athlete from displaying personal sponsorship logos on the uniform, equipment, or apparel. If an Athlete has their own sponsor, Sport Canada requires carded athletes and recommends for non-carded athletes, that they have a separate Commercial Agreement with the NSO that is separate from this general agreement.

If for health, safety or performance reasons, the Athlete wishes to wear competition attire that is not provided by the NSO, this section will indicate what is permitted and/or the steps the Athlete must take to secure this allowance.

The NSO will:

The Athlete will:

Training and Competition

This section indicates that the NSO is obligated to plan and manage any training programs that the Athlete agrees to. The NSO should communicate with the Athlete regarding training plans, testing schedules and results, monitoring, player evaluation feedback, anticipated financial costs and assessments, proposed competition and training plans, and CCES doping and drug testing documentation.

The Athlete’s responsibilities in this section are to consult the National Team coaches or a High Performance Director while planning training and competition schedules. For example, every month, the Athlete may be required to provide updates regarding training progress if requested by the National Team coaches or High Performance Director. In the case of a carded Athlete, a failure on the part of the Athlete to provide monthly updates could result in a recommendation by the NSO to Sport Canada to withdraw AAP support which could result in the loss of carding status.

Additionally, this section outlines what happens if the Athlete is required to move to a National Training Centre, otherwise known as centralizing. This includes, but is not limited to, the NSO providing funding and assistance for the relocation. The Athlete should consider what costs the NSO will cover before signing this agreement. For carded Athletes, note that Sport Canada currently pays 50% of costs, up to a maximum of $500 for an athlete relocating permanently to a single sport national training centre, therefore in the case of carded Athletes, the contribution by Sport Canada through AAP should also be outlined.

Based on what is included in this section, before signing the agreement, the Athlete should consider how long they may have to relocate for, and how many months of notice the NSO should give them before they are required to do so. [NOTE: As best practice, it is recommended that three (3) months’ notice be given to relocate. This may vary depending on the circumstances.]

The Athlete must relocate if required by an NSO policy, such as a team selection or eligibility policy. However, if for some reason the Athlete cannot do so, they should provide written reasons to the NSO. The NSO is not required to accept these reasons, but may have certain exceptions to their relocation requirements which could be helpful to the Athlete. The Athlete should also contact his or her Athlete Representative(s) and/or AthletesCAN in a situation such as this.

The NSO will:

The Athlete will:

Information and Privacy

This section addresses information and privacy rights of both the Athlete and NSO. Essentially, the Athlete and NSO cannot share private information about each other without the other party’s consent, or unless the sharing of information by either party is required by law.

While the NSO needs certain information to be able to properly govern the Athlete’s participation as a member of the National Team, this section allows the Athlete to be confident about providing private and personal information necessary to their NSO because the NSO is required to respect their privacy rights.

The Athlete’s responsibilities to the NSO regarding information and privacy require the Athlete to share necessary information, and to not discuss or share information that the NSO wishes to remain private and has expressed that wish to the Athlete.

The NSO will:

The Athlete will:

Communication

This section addresses the expectations regarding communication for both the Athlete and the NSO.

The Athlete has the right to have all communication in either French or English and should identify which language they prefer to the NSO. The Athlete must provide the NSO (and Sport Canada in the case of carded athletes) with a current e-mail address, or other reasonable method of communication where they can be contacted.

The NSO must communicate with the Athlete in a timely manner, which could vary depending on the situation.

An important consideration for the Athlete under this section is that once an e-mail or letter is sent by the NSO, it is expected that it will be received and read by the Athlete. It is very important that the Athlete stays on top of communication and takes the time to read what is sent. The Athlete is responsible for reading and responding to all the information in the appropriate designated manner. Communicating expectations about communication and responses from both parties is a fundamental opportunity for the Athlete and NSO to build their high-performance relationship.

The list of appendices to this Agreement contains important information as it relates to related policies and agreements. There is then an obligation on the Athlete to provide receipt of the notification via e-mail or electronic signature. Failure to give receipt after seven (7) business days will mean that the Athlete is deemed to have acknowledged the change(s).

The NSO will assume that the Athlete has accessed and read any information that is referred to in the Agreement, for example, the Code of Conduct or any other NSO policy as long as it is made available to the Athlete.

The NSO will:

The Athlete will:

Medical and Injury

This section indicates that the NSO will help the Athlete return to and/or maintain their health in the event of injury or illness. To help the NSO do this, the Athlete should inform the NSO about any medical issues or injuries. This is also important in order to maintain team eligibility and in some cases, AAP funding.

This section requires the Athlete to notify their National Coach verbally and the Designated Contact in writing as soon as possible if they have an injury or other reason for not being able to complete any of the terms in this Agreement. In the event the Athlete gets injured, the Athlete is required to obtain a certificate from a health professional that includes information about the injury and give it to the National Coach and/or Designated Contact within a specified time period. Additionally, the NSO may require that the Athlete follow a recovery and rehabilitation program that is approved by a medical doctor designated by the NSO.

This section also ensures that, if possible, the NSO will contact the Athlete’s emergency contact before medical treatment starts in an emergency situation.

In the event of an Injury or Illness of the Athlete, the NSO will:

  1. assist the Athlete in maintaining health or returning to health.
  2. make every effort to contact the Athlete’s emergency contact prior to medical treatment being initiated in the event of a serious medical situation where the Athlete lacks legal capacity to make healthcare decisions arising while the Athlete is training or competing.

In the event of an injury or illness, the Athlete will:

  1. notify the National Coach and/or Designated Contact verbally within 24 hours, and the Designated Contact in writing within 48 hours, or as soon as possible thereafter, of becoming aware of any injury or illness that might prevent the Athlete from fulfilling any obligations under this Agreement;
  2. provide the NSO with a certificate from a health professional describing the nature and diagnosis of the injury or illness which states the:
    1. date or estimated the injury or illness was incurred;
    2. nature of the injury or illness, and whether it is an overuse or chronic injury;
    3. rehabilitation protocol, if any;
    4. amount and type of training the Athlete can do in the next 12 weeks and/or limitations thereto; and
    5. expected date for return to full training and full recovery; and
  3. follow a recovery and rehabilitation program for the injury or illness that prevented the Athlete from fulfilling obligations under this Agreement, approved by the Athlete’s personal physician and, at the NSO’s discretion, an NSO designated medical doctor, to ensure his or her return to training and/or competition in a safe and timely manner.

Anti-Doping

This section sets out the obligations of the NSO and the Athlete regarding anti-doping.

Anti-doping rules and their corresponding obligations on athletes are often complex, and therefore making sure that, as an Athlete, you have the right resources in order to understand what is expected of you is very important. The NSO is obligated to provide the Athlete, in writing, with a variety of information regarding anti-doping regulations, including any updates to banned substances lists and updated drug classification documents. The NSO should either provide them directly to the Athlete, or identify where Athletes should go to find other information related to anti-doping.

In addition to having strict anti-doping requirements as a National Team athlete, the Athlete’s obligations to the NSO under this Agreement are to avoid the use and possession of any banned substances, and to submit to both announced and unannounced anti-doping tests conducted by the CCES or other authorized bodies. Doping tests may occur both during and outside of competition. Furthermore, the Athlete must cooperate with any investigations into anti-doping being made by disciplinary bodies. Various sport organizations that may be involved in anti-doping programs and proceedings include but are not limited to: the IF, IOC, IPC, WADA, Sport Canada, and the CCES.

As part of helping the NSO meet its obligations to educate the Athlete on anti-doping, the Athlete may be required to participate in anti-doping education programs.

The NSO will:

  1. ensure that the Athlete receives communications from the IF, WADA, IOC, IPC, CCES or other bodies regarding interpretations of and changes to the anti-doping rules the Athlete is subject to;
  2. promote an environment and culture of clean sport;
  3. ensure procedural fairness, no unreasonable violations of the Athlete’s rights to privacy and a just and fair process; and
  4. as soon as the circumstances permit, communicate to the Athlete the name of any athlete, coach, IST or other person known to be involved, likely to be involved, or desiring to be involved in the NSO’s activity, and under sanction by the NSO or an anti-doping agency for a doping-related offence, or who the Athlete is prohibited from associating with by the CADP or WADA.

The Athlete will:

  1. comply with the anti-doping rules of the IF, IOC, IPC, CCES and NSO (if any), including submitting to announced and unannounced doping control testing when required by the NSO, IF, CCES, WADA or any other agency authorized to conduct testing;
  2. complete the CCES online anti-doping courses, True Sport Clean 101 and Sport Canada - Athlete Assistance Program, at the beginning of each new carding cycle;
  3. participate, if asked by the NSO to do so, in any doping control and/or education program developed by the NSO in co-operation with Sport Canada and the CCES;
  4. abide by the CADP as administered by the CCES;
  5. refuse to enter into any relationship with a coach, IST or person who the Athlete knows is under sanction by the NSO or an anti-doping agency for a doping-related offence;
  6. not use banned substances that contravene the rules of the IOC, IPC, IF or the CADP; and
  7. not supply such substances to others directly or indirectly, nor encourage or condone their use by knowingly aiding in any effort to avoid detection.

Funding and Financial

This section discusses the funding and financial obligations of the NSO and the Athlete. The NSO is responsible for organizing programs and funding for the development and administration of coaching, officials, competitions and training centres in Canada. This funding is different for each NSO, depending on their budget, objectives and other factors. The NSO is also responsible for providing selected Athletes with “Fee Schedules” prior to signing an Agreement, meaning the schedule of when an Athlete will have to pay any fees or costs, and the amount. Having this information is meant to assist the Athlete in financial planning, giving them a full understanding of the costs that the Athlete can anticipate to incur.

When selected to participate in funded training and competition activities, the Athlete is expected to understand their financial obligations based on the Fee Schedule provided by the NSO. If the Athlete has any questions or concerns regarding the Fee Schedule, the Athlete should ask questions and express concerns as soon as possible and before signing the Agreement.

The NSO will:

  1. provide an estimated Fee Schedule (Appendix X) to the Athlete that the Athlete will be required to pay to the NSO during the term of the Agreement and will invoice the Athlete from time to time, with notice, for additional fees based on the actual costs incurred to the NSO;
  2. provide an estimated amount that the Athlete will be required to pay approximately to cover their own sport expenses during the term of this Agreement on mandatory events and optional events typically attended by National Team athletes; and
  3. inform the Athlete as soon as possible after the NSO has knowledge of any changes to the fees as set out in the Fee Schedule, and will give the Athlete additional time, as the circumstances require, to pay any new fees as invoiced by the NSO.

The Athlete will:

  1. review any Fee Schedule provided to them as soon as possible after it is received;
  2. pay the invoiced fees within 30 days of being provided an invoice by the NSO, except as set out in paragraph (b) or as the circumstances require; and
  3. reimburse additional expenses incurred by the NSO on behalf of the Athlete within 30 days of receiving an invoice for those expenses or as the circumstances require.

Commercial

The Athlete and NSO agree that:

  1. both parties have significant mutual interests in the promotion and independent commercial success of both the NSO and the Athlete;
  2. it is in the best interests of both parties to work together to promote the commercial and non-commercial interests of each party;
  3. the Athlete and NSO may enter into a separate Athlete Commercial Agreement (the “ACA”); and
  4. the NSO will only offer the separate ACA to the Athlete once this Agreement is executed.

If the Athlete and NSO do not enter into a separate ACA, the Athlete agrees and gives consent to the NSO to use the Athlete’s Marketing Rights within the Term of this Agreement solely for Non-Commercial Use, and the NSO and Athlete agree that such consent does not extend to NSO sponsors.

Athlete Assistance Program (AAP)

This section deals with the relationship between the NSO, the Athlete and the AAP - a federal government grant program that provides direct financial assistance to Canadian high-performance athletes.

NSOs are allocated a quota from the AAP budget by Sport Canada, which is provided each year directly to individual Athletes by Sport Canada through a process known as “carding”. Once the NSOs have been provided with a quota, they nominate or re-nominate eligible Athletes for AAP support at a given level from Sport Canada (for example, senior or development level cards). Sport Canada reviews those applications and approves AAP funding for Athletes who meet the NSO’s sport-specific eligibility criteria, and AAP policies. Athletes then complete the AAP Application Form provided by their NSO and sign an Athlete/NSO Agreement. Eligible Athletes approved for carding receive benefits during the period of time for which they are approved.

The NSO and the Athlete both have obligations related to AAP funding. The NSO is responsible for publishing their AAP selection criteria in advance, for nominating all eligible Athletes for the AAP and for ensuring that those carded Athletes receive the funding to which they are entitled. In return, the Athlete must participate in sport-related, non-commercial promotional activities on behalf of the Government of Canada. In the event a decision is made to retire, the Athlete must notify the appropriate body of their decision in order to cease AAP funding. If an Athlete is carded, they should review all documentation provided to them and make sure they understand any conditions that arise from having carding status.

In the event where an NSO recommends to Sport Canada that an Athlete’s funding be withdrawn, the Athlete Assistance Program Policy and Guidelines manual provides recourse to the procedural rules and policies as set out by Sport Canada. In the event where carding may be withdrawn, it is strongly suggested that the Athlete seek professional advice and/or counsel. AthletesCAN’s Sport Solution Program is also available to provide support, assistance and guidance with these matters. More information can be found at AtheletesCAN.

The NSO will:

  1. publish criteria for the selection of athletes to the AAP by [DATE (should be 8 months before the start of the AAP eligibility cycle, as per AAP policy)]; and
  2. nominate all eligible athletes for AAP and ensure those Athletes approved for carding receive all the benefits to which they are entitled under the AAP.

If receiving AAP, the Athlete will:

  1. participate in sport-related, non-commercial promotional activities on behalf of the Government of Canada for up to two working days per year as requested;
  2. comply with AAP policies and procedures, including those dealing with Sport Canada AAP Decisions as described in Section 13 of the AAP Policies and Procedures available online at: Athlete assistance
  3. actively participate in all Sport Canada program evaluation activities, including the Status of the Athlete Study. The Athlete will cooperate fully in any evaluation that may be conducted by the Minister or anyone authorized to act on the Minister’s behalf. The Athlete will also provide such data as considered necessary for the proper conduct of the evaluation; and
  4. notify the Designated Contact, at the earliest possible date, of the Athlete’s intention to retire so that the NSO may advise Sport Canada to cease AAP payments. The Athlete will refund any AAP payments to Sport Canada received after the Athlete has ceased training.

The NSO and Athlete agree that the procedure for withdrawal of AAP status of the Athlete is outlined in Sport Canada's Athlete Assistance Program Policy and Procedures manual available online at: Athlete assistance.

Dispute Resolution Method

The purpose of this section is to outline the dispute resolution procedures for disputes arising out of this Agreement, and to inform parties of their rights, responsibilities, and options in the event that a dispute may arise. For the purpose of this Agreement, a dispute is defined as an instance “where one of the parties to this Agreement is of the opinion that the other party has failed to conform to obligations under this Agreement.”

Section 29 below, states that “the parties agree that the giving of a Default Notice by a party will not prevent that party from later asserting that the default was so fundamental as to amount to a repudiation of this Agreement.” This means that making a complaint through a Default Notice about an issue arising from this Agreement does not waive or limit a party’s broader rights as related to this Agreement. For example, despite voicing a complaint, an NSO’s breach of a fundamental obligation may result in an Athlete being released from their reciprocal obligations or all of their obligations under this Agreement.

It is recommended that the Athlete or NSO always follow the dispute resolution procedure set out in this section to ensure the fairest, most transparent and consistent process for all parties involved. This process should follow the principles of natural justice and procedural fairness explained earlier.

It is also important to note that the SDRCC requires that a party go through the internal appeal process with the NSO before going to the next step of using the dispute resolution mechanism offered by the SDRCC. However, the SDRCC now offers Early Resolution Facilitation (ERF), which takes place before an internal appeal is conducted by your sport organization. During this process, parties can work collaboratively with the assistance of a neutral third party in order to resolve their dispute or partially settle some underlying issues to their dispute. The process set out in the Agreement and in the NSO’s Appeal Policy constitutes the internal appeal process.

More information about the SDRCC and its processes can be found at: CRDSC-SDRCC.

The NSO will provide a hearing and appeal procedure with respect to any dispute between the Athlete and the NSO that conforms with the principles of natural justice and procedural fairness. This procedure shall include access to an internal appeal process, as well as a clearly outlined pathway to independent arbitration through the SDRCC. The details of this procedure will be published by the NSO under its [NSO Appeals Policy] found at [link or Appendix].

Where one of the parties to this Agreement alleges that the other party has failed to conform to their obligations under this Agreement, the parties agree:

  1. the one party will notify the other party in writing of the particulars of the alleged default (the “Default Notice”);
  2. to indicate in the Default Notice, the steps to be taken to remedy the situation, and set out a reasonable period of time within which steps may be taken; and
  3. where the party that gave the Default Notice alleges that the other party has not remedied the situation within the period of time set out, that party will file a complaint through the process set out in the [NSO Appeals Policy].

The parties agree that the giving of the Default Notice by a party will not prevent that party from later asserting that the default was so fundamental as to amount to a repudiation of this Agreement. If the party receiving the Default Notice remedies the breach within the specified period of time, the dispute will be considered resolved and neither party will have any recourse against the other concerning the matter alleged to comprise the default. If the party receiving the Default Notice fails to remedy the breach within the specified period of time, and the party that gave the Default Notice still wishes recourse against the other concerning the matters alleged to comprise the default, that party will use the dispute settlement mechanism of this Agreement to resolve the differences between the parties.

Notice

The objective of this section is to establish a method of communication between the Athlete and the NSO in the event that notice has to be given as pertaining to this Agreement.

The clause works in conjunction with other provisions of the agreement stating the circumstances when notice is required.

  1. Any notice required or permitted to be given to the Designated Contact by the Athlete under this Agreement will be done in accordance with section 14 of this Agreement. Notice will be executed by delivery by courier to the NSO at [Physical Address] or delivery by e-mail to [NSO e-mail].
  2. Any notice required or permitted to be given to the Athlete by the NSO under this Agreement will be done in accordance with section 15 of this Agreement. Notice will be executed by delivery by courier to the Athlete at [Physical Address] or by delivery by e-mail to [Athlete e-mail].

Insurance

This section establishes the Athlete’s options for insurance and should be customized or removed as needed.

  1. The NSO will provide the Athlete with the option of enrolment in insurance.
  2. The Athlete and NSO acknowledge that the Athlete is eligible to purchase group insurance coverage under the [AthletesCAN / NSO] benefits plan by contacting [CONTACT] before [DATE].

Assumption of Risk

  1. The Athlete agrees that participation as a National Team member exposes the Athlete to substantial risk and danger. With the pursuit of excellence and the drive to achieve results being a common element motivating all competitive athletes, the likelihood of suffering personal injury on the part of the Athlete is both real and probable. By signing this Agreement, the Athlete voluntarily and freely acknowledges and fully assumes these risks and dangers (the “Assumed Risk”).
  2. The NSO will reduce the Assumed Risk through risk management, including the implementation of a [NSO Risk Management Policy] and a risk registry.

Termination

This section outlines the circumstances in which this Agreement may be terminated by the Athlete and NSO.

  1. The Athlete:
    1. may terminate this Agreement at any time by providing written notice of termination to the NSO;
    2. understands and agrees that in terminating this Agreement, the Athlete loses all rights, benefits and privileges of participation on the National Team, including payments under the AAP, and the right to compete internationally at IF, IOC or IPC sanctioned events.
  2. The NSO:
    1. may terminate this Agreement, subject to section 38 by providing written notice, prior to its scheduled expiry if the Athlete:
      1. has been found guilty by the CCES, WADA, or a designated body with the authority to conduct anti-doping testing of a doping control violation if:
        1. the limitation period for an appeal has passed or the Athlete has appealed and the appeal has been decided; and
        2. the sanction against the Athlete was not reduced;
        3. has been convicted of a violent criminal offense; or
        4. has become ineligible to represent the NSO.
  3. Any decision by the NSO to terminate this Agreement prior to its scheduled expiry may be appealed by the Athlete through the NSO’s Appeal Policy.

Governing Law

  1. This Agreement will be governed and construed in accordance with the laws of [PROVINCE OF THE NSO] and the laws of Canada applicable therein.

General Provisions

  1. The NSO will conduct an annual review of its proposed Athlete Agreement in consultation with the designated Athlete Representative(s) prior to board approval and distribution of the draft to athletes;
  2. If any provision of this Agreement is deemed invalid or unenforceable, then the remaining provisions will not be affected and every other provision will be valid and enforceable to the fullest extent permitted by law.
  3. This Agreement may not be amended, modified, or altered in any respect except in writing and signed by the parties.
  4. The Athlete and NSO confirm that they are aware of their respective rights to obtain independent legal advice before signing this Agreement have signed this Agreement voluntarily and with full understanding of the nature and consequences of the Agreement.

IN WITNESS WHEREOF the parties have executed this Agreement as of the day and year first above written.

Signed by [NSO]

in the presence of:

Signature of Witness

Name of Witness

NSO

[Jane Doe] – Authorized Representative

Occupation of Witness

Signed by [ATHLETE NAME]

in the presence of:

Signature of Witness

Name of Witness

[ATHLETE NAME]

Occupation of Witness

Appendix D: Athlete Commercial Agreement (ACA) Template (Annotated)

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Important Notice to Athlete And National Sport Organization (“NSO”)

Between 2015 and 2019, AthletesCAN, together with system stakeholders, experts, NSO and athlete leaders undertook a detailed review of athlete agreements in the Canadian sport landscape. As a result, they created the template Athlete Agreement, which is now recommended by Sport Canada and available for adoption.

One central recommendation that came out of the review process was to separate the athlete / NSO commercial and performance relationships into parallel agreements. What followed was a process where athlete and NSO leaders, together with marketing and legal experts, created the Athlete Commercial Agreement Template. The Athlete Commercial Agreement Template is intended for both athletes and NSOs to come to a mutually beneficial, reciprocal agreement to foster their commercial relationship.

The ACA is intended to:

Underpinning the ACA is the notion that an NSO is the exclusive rights holder of its marks, logos, and uniforms, and has the authority to designate the equipment and uniform that athletes use/wear at events, activities and competitions; and that athletes are the exclusive rights holder to their marketing rights and should have priority and full say over commercial exploitation of those rights. The ACA outlines what NSOs and athletes have agreed to in terms of transferring certain rights to each other.

It is best practice, before an athlete signs the ACA, to carefully examine it to be sure that all terms and conditions agreed upon have been incorporated, and that they fully understand these terms and conditions as presented. To aid the parties in this process, the ACA has been annotated to further define the various sections in plain language. Annotations appear through the ACA in bold text boxes. Should an athlete have any questions or concerns, they should address them immediately with the designated NSO contact.

Athlete Commercial Agreement

THIS AGREEMENT, is made as of the [date] (the “Effective Date”)

BETWEEN:

[NAME OF ATHLETE]

(the “Athlete”)

AND:

[NAME OF NSO], a registered Canadian amateur athletic association having its registered office at:

[ADDRESS]

(the “National Sport Organization” or “NSO” and together with the Athlete, collectively the “Parties” or individually a “Party”)

WHEREAS the Athlete has signed an athlete agreement (the “Athlete Agreement”) with the NSO, which governs the terms and conditions relating to eligibility, performance and personal conduct pertaining to the Athlete being part of a Canadian National [SPORT] Team program;

AND WHEREAS this athlete commercial agreement (“ACA”) addresses the terms under which the Athlete has sponsorship and commercial relationships with third parties that are independent and separate from the sponsorship and commercial relationships entering into between the NSO and third parties, and forms an agreement that is separate and distinct from the Athlete Agreement;

AND WHEREAS the Athlete is interested in fostering the high-performance relationship with the NSO outlined in the Athlete Agreement and in this ACA;

AND WHEREAS the Athlete has a right to and is interested in growing and promoting their own image and commercial interests;

AND WHEREAS subject to the terms contained herein the Athlete has agreed to assist the NSO by participating in NSO promotional projects, activities, and events and allowing the NSO to use the Athlete’s commercial rights;

NOW THEREFORE, for good and valuable consideration, the receipt and sufficiency of which are acknowledged, the Parties agree as follows:

Article 1: Definitions

It is important to read these terms and understand their definitions, as they will appear throughout this agreement and directly inform your involvement in the organization.

For the purposes of this ACA, the following words or phrases shall have the meanings set out below:

Apparel
means any clothing or equipment provided by the NSO to the Athlete.
Athlete’s Imagery
has the meaning ascribed to it in Section 3.1(d).
Collective Use
means the NSO’s Commercial Use of the images of [#] or more high performance program (“HPP”) athletes, which images must be portrayed with [#] or more athletes in one promotional piece, or may be a mosaic of [#] or more individual athlete images forged into one promotional piece where all individual athletes are equally prominent in the image. Collective use shall not imply that any individual athlete endorses any product and/or service.
Commercial Use
means NSO’s promotional activities pursuant to an agreement between the NSO and an NSO Commercial Partner, including those featuring any of NSOs or NSO Commercial Partners’ names, marks, brands, logos or other identifying intellectual property.
Conflict of Interest
for purpose this Agreement means a situation where the requirements or obligations under contract owing by a Party are incompatible or inconsistent with the requirements or obligations under contract by the other Party. Without limiting the foregoing, Conflicts of Interest can arise from clauses that restrict entering into agreements with businesses that are competitors to the contracting party, agreements that mandate or restrict usage or placements of marks and/or logos of a person, and/or agreements with entities that could reasonably bring a Party’s reputation into disrepute.
Contract Territory
means worldwide. [Note to NSOs: Different rules may apply depending on where your HPP teams compete based on IF or other federation rules, so you will need to consider whether worldwide rights are really needed or not. AthletesCAN would recommend that an NSO clearly articulates to the Athlete whenever there is an opportunity for them to feature their personal endorsements on the field of play, in accordance with any NSO/IF rules that apply.]
Dress Code
means the direction provided by the NSO to the Athlete regarding the wearing of Apparel, non-designated apparel, accessories or products. [Note to NSOs: As a reciprocal obligation, specifics regarding apparel minimums should be provided to the Athlete in a Dress Code].
Force Majeure
means acts of God, flood, fire, earthquake, explosion, war, terrorism, invasion, riot or other civil unrest, strikes, pandemics, epidemics, labour stoppages or slowdowns or other industrial disturbances, or passage of law or any action taken by a governmental or public authority, including imposing an embargo.
Fundraising Activity
means a staged event created for the purpose of raising funds through donations, silent auctions or other means.
IF
means [* Insert Name of applicable international sports federation].
In-Uniform Athlete Imagery
means photographs, videos or film images, or other likenesses or images of the Athlete where the Athlete is wearing Apparel or NSO team logos or marks.
Marketing Rights
means promotional and advertising rights to the Athlete’s imagery, voice, name, personality, likeness and fame gained in [specific sport] as a member of the NSO’s HPP to promote the NSO and the NSO’s athletes, and includes all Athlete images whether captured at NSO Sanctioned Activities or otherwise and used in any media whatsoever.
Media Appearance
means an event arranged for the purpose of interacting with media representatives, including print, television, radio, and online to promote the NSO, the NSO’s athletes, and the NSO’s Partners.
Meet and Greet
means an informal, non-speaking engagement aimed at establishing personal relationships with potential partners and the Canadian public.
Non-Commercial Use
means any use of Marketing Rights by the NSO other than with NSO Commercial Partners and solely for the purposes of promoting the NSO using NSO marks on a stand-alone basis, or in conjunction with non-NSO Commercial Partners marks, such as [IF] marks or NSO/[IF] event marks provided further that such use is not affiliated or attached to any NSO partner promotion, activation or activity.
NSO Commercial Partners
means all commercial entities with whom NSO has an agreement other than: government entities, Canadian provincial or national sports federations, IFs, International Olympic Committee and the Canadian Olympic Committee.
NSO IP
means the trademarks, logos, brand, marks owned by the NSO, including the phrases “Canadian [Sport] National Team”, “Canadian [Sport] World Championship Team”, “Canadian [Sport] High Performance Program”.
NSO Partners
includes all NSO Commercial Partners and non-NSO Commercial Partners.
NSO Sanctioned Activities
means NSO training camps, competitions, fitness testing, NSO or [IF organized meetings – if applicable], Press Conferences, Fundraising Activities, Meet and Greets and Personal Appearances/Promotional Days.
Out-of-Uniform Athlete Imagery
means photographs, video or film images, or other likenesses or images of the Athlete without NSO team logos or marks or Apparel.
Personal Appearance/Promotional Day
means a planned engagement arranged by the NSO or NSO Partner involving the Athlete designed at least in part to highlight or promote a specific achievement or achievements by the Athlete where such Athlete was competing on behalf or otherwise representing the NSO, or to promote the Athlete generally.
Press Conference
means an event to which the Athlete has been invited and which is held in conjunction with an NSO and/or a non-NSO Commercial Entity competition or event to promote the competition or event in connection with the Athlete.
Production Day
means a planned engagement to which the Athlete has been invited at the request of the NSO or an NSO Partner for the purposes of creating and developing commercial and promotional assets to support the NSO’s marketing, public relations and communications strategy and program in connection with the Athlete.
Social Media
includes, but is not limited to, the following platforms: Facebook, Twitter, blogs, personal websites, Pinterest, Instagram, SnapChat, WhatsApp and all other digital platforms accessible by the public, or a defined user-group.
Social Media Posts
means digital media entries, reports, messages or endorsements written by the Athlete or provided by the NSO for Athlete’s use on Social Media.
Term
means the same duration as that set out in the Athlete Agreement, unless terminated in accordance with the termination provisions herein.

Article 2: General Outline of Marketing Rights

As a member of the national team, the Athlete has two (2) roles: as a high-performance Athlete (as outlined in the Athlete Agreement) and as an ambassador for their sport and organization (as outlined in this ACA). Both roles are of equal importance, as the Athlete’s contributions to the NSO in the role of an ambassador will help drive the business of the NSO which helps finance the pursuit of the Athlete’s athletic endeavors.

The NSO will make a significant investment in the Athlete’s growth and development, and in return, requires the Athlete’s support in the role of an ambassador. The NSO also enjoys the benefit of the Athlete’s personal sacrifices to achieve successes on behalf of the NSO as well as the personal character and grass roots support that the Athlete brings to the sport in which the Athlete trains and competes.

Some common marketing objectives for the NSOs include driving awareness and growing participation in their sport, which leads to increased engagement with Canadians, which will ultimately help recruit new sponsors. New sponsors are often integral to the continued financial health of an NSO and allow the Athlete to continue pursuing their athletic goals with an appropriate amount of support in return. As such, the Athlete’s role as an ambassador is very valuable to the NSO and the Athlete’s marketing rights are the basis of what the Athlete has to offer.

Athletes also provide value to the NSO by contributing content through their athletic performances that can be packaged and sold to broadcasters, sponsors and ticket buyers. Content is increasingly valuable and is being used in activations and other marketing vehicles.

This section outlines the proper use of the Athlete’s marketing rights, of which there are two (2) general applications: non-commercial purposes (i.e. for the NSO to promote the Athlete’s sport or its events) and commercial purposes (usually attached to a business outcome for a sponsor). This section also outlines how the Athlete’s marketing rights can be used to secure team sponsors and personal sponsors.

Any sponsor of the NSO is considered a team sponsor, and the NSO can only use Athlete’s marketing rights commercially for a team sponsor. Any marketing campaigns for a team sponsor must have a minimum of [x] athletes present in equal prominence – this is defined as “Collective Use” and is important because it respects and protects the Athlete’s marketing rights for personal sponsors. The NSO cannot use the Athlete’s individual marketing rights for its own sponsor, unless they are compensating the Athlete.

The Athlete can secure their own personal sponsors, so long as they do not conflict with any team sponsors (i.e. be in the same business category). It is best practice for the Athlete to provide the NSO with an updated list of their personal sponsors each season, to ensure clear communication and business practices.

Note: The standard minimum number of athletes for the promotion of a team sponsor is three (3) for individual sports and five (5) for team sports.

This section also addresses, in part, how to help prevent and address conflicts of interest.

The Parties agree that:

Acknowledgement

  1. Subject to the terms contained herein, the Athlete may enter into separate commercial and non-commercial agreements with persons that impact the use of the Athlete’s Marketing Rights and the NSO IP.
  2. Except as otherwise expressly set out herein, the NSO shall not use the Athlete’s Marketing Rights without the prior written consent of the Athlete, such consent not to be unreasonably withheld or delayed; and the Athlete shall not allow the use of the Athlete’s Marketing Rights which contain marks, brands, logos, uniform, or other identifying intellectual property of the NSO, or marks, brands, logos, uniform, or other identifying intellectual property of the NSO Commercial Partner without the prior written consent of the NSO, such consent not to be unreasonably withheld or delayed.

NSO Rights

  1. Non-Commercial Use
    1. During the Term, the Athlete grants the NSO permission to use the Marketing Rights for Non-Commercial Use.
    2. After the Term, the NSO may only continue to make Non-Commercial Use of the Athlete’s Marketing Rights with the prior written consent of the Athlete which may be given or withheld at the Athlete’s sole discretion.
  2. Commercial Use – Non-Collective Use.
    1. For each non-Collective Use NSO wishes to make of the Marketing Rights, NSO must obtain the Athlete’s prior written consent, which may be given or withheld at the Athlete’s sole discretion, and such use shall be subject further to the terms of Appendix “1” to this Agreement.
  3. Collective Use.
    1. During the Term, the Athlete grants the NSO permission to Collective Use of the Marketing Rights.
    2. After the Term, the NSO may make Collective Use of the Athlete’s Marketing Rights only with the prior written consent of the Athlete, which may be given or withheld at the Athlete’s sole discretion.

Other Restrictions on NSO Use of Marketing Rights.

In all instances,

  1. Any use of Out-of-Uniform Athlete Imagery requires the prior written consent of the Athlete, which may be given or withheld at the Athlete’s sole discretion.
  2. The NSO must obtain prior written consent from the Athlete to assign its rights under this ACA to a third-party, such Athlete consent not to be unreasonably withheld or delayed. This provision shall survive termination of this Agreement.

Athlete’s Rights

  1. Non-Commercial Use. The Athlete has the right to use their own individual image from NSO Sanctioned Events and NSO marketing activities, regardless of who captures the image, and NSO grants Athlete a worldwide, perpetual right for purposes that do not generate fees or other compensation for the Athlete, use of marks, logos, and Apparel to Athlete. The Athlete shall not remove or conceal any NSO sponsor logos from Apparel without the prior written consent of the NSO, such consent not to be unreasonably withheld or delayed.
  2. Commercial Use
  3. The NSO acknowledges and agrees that the Athlete may seek personal endorsements, sponsorship or participate in other commercial activities for the Athlete’s personal gain.
  4. In relation to all agreements pursuant to which the Athlete may be paid a fee or provided certain other compensation (“commercial agreement”), the Athlete must obtain prior written consent from the NSO to use the name, marks, logos, uniforms or other intellectual property of the NSO, or if the Athlete enters into a commercial agreement that includes openly identifying the Athlete with an NSO-related team or NSO marketing activities, denotes the Athlete as a member of the NSO’s HPP, or implies an affiliation with any other NSO controlled program or entity, such consent not to be unreasonably withheld or delayed.
  5. The Athlete must obtain prior written consent from the NSO to assign its rights under this ACA to a third-party. The NSO consent for Commercial Use and allowing assignment of rights must not be unreasonably withheld or delayed. This provision shall survive termination of this Agreement.
  6. Upon prior written consent from NSO, such consent not to be unreasonably withheld or delayed, the Athlete may add the logo of a third-party to Apparel, as long as it conforms to the requirements of all applicable rules, including placement of the logo.

Article 3: Athlete Commitment to Marketing Rights

In exchange for the investment the NSO is making in the Athlete, the Athlete is asked to give Marketing Rights, time and effort in a clearly defined list of activities each season, as part of their role as an ambassador. These are outlined in Appendix 1.

It’s important to note that the NSO cannot ‘carry over’ marketing appearances or activities outlined in Appendix 1 from season to season or outside of the Term of this ACA.

All expenses related to the Athlete’s fulfillment of marketing appearances or activities outlined in Appendix 1 (travel, food, etc.) are the responsibility of NSO or the team sponsor to cover.

The NSO is only required to provide the Athlete with additional compensation if they want to use the Athlete’s individual Marketing Rights for Commercial Use. Ultimately, the Athlete has the decision as to whether this happens or not, and they should be negotiating directly with the sponsor inquiring.

The Athlete agrees to:

  1. Attend at all NSO Sanctioned Activities, as agreed upon in and subject to the terms of Appendix “1”, provided that:
    1. the Athlete is provided with advance notice of no later than thirty (30) calendar days prior to the NSO Sanctioned Activity (unless expressly waived by the Athlete);
    2. that the NSO Sanctioned Activities do not unreasonably interfere with the Athlete’s training program, work or competition schedule;
    3. that the Athlete is compensated as agreed upon in Appendix “1”; and
    4. costs associated with attendance, including travel, accommodation, and expenses are borne by the NSO. If the NSO does not have an internal travel policy, the Travel Directive as published by the National Joint Council shall apply.
  2. Comply with the Dress Code while traveling to and during any NSO Sanctioned Activities or other HPP-related events. Specifically, the Athlete shall not remove or conceal any NSO sponsor logos on Apparel at any time or contravene the Dress Code without the prior written consent of the NSO.
  3. Not wear apparel, accessories or products during any NSO Sanctioned Activity without the prior written consent of the NSO that will:
    1. contravene the Dress Code; or
    2. contravene the agreements with NSO’s commercial partners.
  4. Use best efforts to provide responses within ten (10) business days of any proposed use by the NSO of any In-Uniform Athlete Imagery or Out-of-Uniform Athlete Imagery (collectively, the “Athlete’s Imagery”) (the “Approval Period”). Failure by Athlete to respond within the Approval Period shall be deemed to be a lack of approval by the Athlete, however, the Athlete shall use commercially reasonable efforts to provide reasons for any lack of approval. [All approvals on behalf of the Athlete shall be administered through insert authorized agent, if any].

Article 4: NSO Commitment to Marketing Rights

This section relates to the parameters around the NSO’s use of the Athlete’s Marketing Rights to assist with the achievement of the NSO’s marketing objectives.

To assist the Athlete in securing personal sponsors, the NSO may be willing to provide the Athlete with an area on their equipment or apparel to display the logo of their personal sponsor when the Athlete is competing in an NSO sanctioned event. The placement of the logo on the Athlete’s equipment or apparel is to be decided by the NSO and/or Athlete’s IF, if designated rules exist. If the Athlete’s events are broadcast on television or live-streamed online, the Athlete’s personal sponsor should be able to view their logo in the designated area, which can assist the Athlete with their marketing objectives.

The NSO agrees:

  1. To allow the Athlete to add the logo of at least one (1) personal commercial partner to each of piece of Apparel, as long as it conforms to the requirements of the IF rules and any competition-specific rules. The NSO will advise the Athlete as to the placement of the logo.
  2. Not to create or exploit any item used in connection with the Athlete’s Imagery unless and until the same has been approved by the Athlete in writing, provided that such proposed use of the Athlete’s Imagery in connection with the created or exploited item does not constitute Collective Use, in which case approval of the Athlete is not required pursuant to Section 2.3(c).
  3. Provide to the Athlete, upon written request and within a reasonable time, the Athlete’s Imagery when owned or procured by the NSO, which the Athlete may use to advance their own non-commercial and/or commercial interests in accordance with the terms of this Agreement, provided that all commercial markings of the NSO and the NSO’s Partners in said imagery will not be altered nor removed without the prior written consent of the NSO. The NSO will not unreasonably withhold or delay such consent.
  4. From time to time, provide the Athlete with resources to assist the Athlete in promoting their involvement with the NSO’s HPP. Resources may include, but are not limited to traditional media training, social media training, key messaging, talking points, media briefing documents or template messages to be deployed on social media platforms.
  5. Not disparage the Athlete’s partners and generally adhere to the NSO’s Code of Conduct appended to the Athlete Agreement [and available on the NSO’s website].

Article 5: NSO Marketing Rights

This section outlines the other assets the NSO has to market the organization including its logo and marks. The NSO can affix its logo to any of the Athlete’s apparel and equipment they are competing in when representing the NSO, or at NSO sanctioned events which include non-competition activities.

The NSO represents and warrants, and the Athlete acknowledges, that the NSO:

  1. Owns and controls the use of the NSO IP.
  2. Has the right to licence the use of the NSO’s logos, marks, materials, phrases, and representations identified in Section 5.1(a) above to the NSO’s Partners, including sponsors, suppliers, licensees, and such other commercial partners as it may choose.
  3. Subject to any restrictions set out in this ACA, in its sole discretion, the NSO has the right to designate the Dress Code for NSO Sanctioned Activities and to affix the logos, images or names of the NSO’s Partners on Apparel worn by the Athlete in NSO Sanctioned Activities and all other HPP events so long as such affixation of logos, images or names does not create a Conflict of Interest with the Athlete’s commercial partners, as further outlined in Appendix “#”.

Article 6: Conflicts of Interest

This section outlines the obligations of both the Athlete and the NSO regarding the management of conflict of interest between the NSO and third party commercial agreements. A conflict of interest is a situation where the contractual or business requirements or obligations of one Party are incompatible or inconsistent with the requirements or obligations of other Party. Conflicts of interest can arise from clauses that restrict entering into agreements with businesses that are competitors to the contracting party, agreements that mandate or restrict usage or placements of marks and/or logos of a person, and/or agreements with entities that could reasonably bring a Party’s reputation into disrepute. Put simply, the parties’ interests are in conflict with one another.

In addition to the restrictions set out in Article,

  1. The parties acknowledge that the Athlete’s and the NSO’s ability to prevent and navigate any Conflicts of Interests will depend, in part, on timely and ongoing communication between the Athlete and the NSO regarding commercial agreements with third parties that may impact the other Party’s interests. Each of the Athlete and NSO covenant to communicate to the other in a timely manner regarding all agreements that have been or are about to be entered into with persons which may impact the other Party’s ability to use the Marketing Rights; provided however that each Party shall respect obligations of confidentiality mandated by any such third-party entity.
  2. In support of the foregoing, the (i) NSO shall, on an ongoing basis, provide the Athlete a listing of all NSO commercial partners, outlining any exclusivities granted to the NSO’s commercial partners and all terms that may impact the Athlete’s ability to exploit for commercial or non-commercial purposes the Athlete’s marketing Rights and (ii) the Athlete agrees to provide to the NSO, on an ongoing basis, a list of all entities with whom the Athlete has an agreement, outlining any exclusivities granted to Athlete’s commercial partner in order to make the NSO aware of any potential conflicts with its own existing or future commercial partners.
  3. In the event that a Conflict of Interest arises with respect to the matters described in this Agreement, the provisions outlined in the NSO’s [Dispute Resolution Policy] shall govern the actions taken by the Parties.

Article 7: Athlete Commercial Contracts

This section is related to the Athlete’s pursuit of personal sponsorsships which most often take the form of an exchange of rights to market the Athlete’s image and story in exchange for something of value. This usually takes the form of money or “value in kind” – meaning something of value other than cash, such as a free phone or a vehicle.

As agreed above, the Athlete must make reasonable efforts to ensure that any of their personal commercial partners that conflict with any of NSO’s team sponsors (i.e. commercial partners in the same business category) do not negatively affect the NSO’s relationship with their own commercial partners. For example, if the NSO’s team sponsor is Petro-Canada, Esso would be an example of competing sponsors and therefore conflicting – likewise for McDonalds and Subway. Exchanging lists of commercial partners at the start of each season will help avoid these situations. As well, the Athlete and NSO should ask their commercial partners who they consider to be their competition, since business conflicts are not always obvious. For example, because of their exclusive relationship with Coke, McDonalds considers Pepsi to be a conflicting entity.

The Athlete may enter into individual, personal contracts that promote, advance or further the Athlete’s own reputation and commercial interests, provided:

  1. The contract(s) do not violate [IF] rules and regulations, specifically including the [NSO’s please provide specific references here to your set of IF rules that pertain to marketing, competition apparel or equipment logos/branding, etc. for the ease of reference of the Athlete] attached as [Appendix “#”] to this ACA, as they may be updated from time to time.
  2. The contract(s) do not require the Athlete to engage in any conduct or activities that would put the Athlete in conflict with their obligations set out in this ACA or in the Athlete Agreement. [NSOs to consider their Codes of Conduct and any specific provisions that may apply to image, reputation and goodwill of the NSO and NSO brand may be added or referred to here.]
  3. The Athlete will not disparage any NSO partners and will generally adhere to the NSO’s Code of Conduct appended to the Athlete Agreement [and available on the NSO’s website].
  4. The Athlete agrees to abide by the NSO’s process [as set out in Appendix “#” to this ACA] with respect to the clearance of the Athlete’s personal endorsements by the NSO. The NSO will not unreasonably refuse to provide its consent to any Athlete personal endorsement so long as it is in compliance with including but not limited to Sections 2.5 and 3.1 and any other applicable provision in this ACA. Further, the NSO agrees to provide its response to Athlete within ten (10) business days.

Article 8: Indemnity

This section explains that the NSO affords the Athlete certain protections from liability in the event of conflict or negative consequences that may arise from the NSO’s use of the Athlete’s Marketing Rights at an NSO Sanctioned Event, or with an NSO team sponsor or commercial partner. For example, if the NSO used an image of the athlete and did not properly credit the photographer, and the photographer took issue with the NSO, the NSO could not take action against the athlete for that error.

The NSO agrees to protect, indemnify and save harmless the Athlete from and against any and all expenses, liabilities, damages, claims, suits, actions, judgments and costs whatsoever, including, without limitation, legal fees and court costs arising out of, or in any way connected to:

  1. Any actions or omissions of the NSO including, but not limited to, the infringement of any patent, trademark or other proprietary or contractual rights to any third party, any claim or action for personal injury, death or other cause of action, or any use of the Athlete Marketing Rights by the NSO, including any claims related to advertising or marketing materials furnished by or on behalf of the NSO.
  2. In connection with any contests or sweepstakes conducted or promoted by the NSO or on behalf of NSO.

Article 9: Media Relations and Social Media

This section outlines the responsibility that the Athlete and the NSO have in being professional in their joint interactions with members of the media.

It is important for the Athlete to be in constant communication with the staff member(s) of the NSO tasked with managing media requests and interviews, especially if the Athlete is dealing with any sensitive subject matter that could impact the NSO, for example, injury/illness or funding.

If the Athlete requires coaching or assistance for managing their interactions with the media, they should ask the staff member(s) of the NSO for assistance.

The use of social media platforms are critical to the success of both the Athlete and the NSO achieving their marketing objectives as well as satisfying the demands of the NSO’s commercial partners and the Athlete’s personal sponsors.

In order to ensure the financial health of the NSO, and for the Athlete to continue to pursue their athletic goals as an ambassador, it is important for the Athlete to assist the NSO with social media requests from sponsors from time to time where appropriate. To protect the Athlete’s individual marketing rights the Athlete should use the term “team sponsor” in any of their posts, tweets, etc. regarding the NSO’s commercial partners.

As an ambassador, it is also the Athlete’s responsibility to act in an appropriate manner on social media platforms as the Athlete has a public profile and their comments could be used against them. The Athlete should refrain from posting anything that would negatively impact their ability to secure personal sponsors or that could negatively impact the NSO or their teammates. Referring to the NSO’s Social Media Policy is a helpful way to learn more important social media tactics and restrictions.

The Parties agree that:

  1. The NSO’s Code of Conduct and the NSO’s [Social Media Policy] will govern each respective Party’s behaviour with respect to all media interaction and use of social media.

Article 10: General

The Parties agree that:

  1. Any dispute under this ACA will be attempted to be resolved pursuant to the NSO’s [Dispute Resolution Policy] as may be amended from time to time.
  2. The ACA shall be interpreted by and construed in accordance with the laws of the Province of Ontario and the laws of Canada applicable therein.
  3. Any legal suit, action, litigation, or proceeding of any kind whatsoever in any way arising out of, from or relating to this ACA, shall be instituted in the courts of the Province of Ontario, and each Party irrevocably submits to the exclusive jurisdiction of such courts in any such suit, action, litigation or proceeding. Service of process, summons, notice, or other document by mail to such Party’s address set forth herein shall be effective service of process for any suit, action, litigation or other proceeding brought in any such court. Each Party agrees that a final judgment in any such suit, action, litigation, or proceeding is conclusive and may be enforced in other jurisdictions by suit on the judgment or in any other manner provided by law. The Parties irrevocably and unconditionally waive any objection to the venue of any action or proceeding in such courts and irrevocably waive and agree not to plead or claim in any such court that any such action or proceeding brought in any such court has been brought in an inconvenient forum.
  4. If any term or other provision of the ACA is determined to be invalid, illegal or incapable of being enforced for any reason, all other terms and provisions of the ACA shall nevertheless remain in full force and effect.
  5. The ACA contains the entire agreement between the Parties. There are no other agreements, understandings, representations or warranties, collateral, oral or otherwise with respect to the commercial relationship as between the Parties.
  6. Each Party has read the entire ACA and understand its contents.
  7. Amendments: No modification or amendment to this Agreement may be made unless agreed to by the Parties hereto in writing.
  8. Each Party has had an opportunity to obtain their own independent legal and financial advice with respect to this ACA and that each Party is fully aware of the nature of their rights and obligations hereunder.
  9. Each Party has received adequate consideration for the obligations set out under this ACA.
  10. Unless earlier terminated in accordance with this Section 10.1, the initial term of this ACA will begin on the Effective Date and will conclude in accordance with the Athlete Agreement. In addition, the Athlete may terminate this ACA, effective immediately upon written notice to the NSO, if: (i) the NSO breaches any provision in this ACA and does not cure the breach within thirty (30) days after receiving written notice thereof from the Athlete; (ii) the NSO fails to pay the Athlete any portion of the fees payable by the NSO under this ACA and ancillary documents when due; or (iii) the NSO is in default under any other agreement entered into between the Athlete and the NSO. Upon termination or expiration of this Agreement, the NSO shall not have any rights to use the Athlete’s Marketing Rights except with the prior written consent of the Athlete.
  11. Upon termination or expiration of this ACA for any reason, any amounts owed to the Athlete under this ACA before such termination or expiration will be immediately due and payable, all licensed Marketing Rights granted in this Agreement will immediately cease to exist and the NSO must promptly discontinue all further use of the Marketing Rights and all further use and distribution of the Marketing Rights. Notwithstanding the expiration or termination of this ACA, the Parties hereto shall continue to be bound by the provisions of this ACA which, by their nature, shall survive such completion or termination including, without limitation, provisions relating to warranties, indemnification and confidentiality (as applicable).
  12. Currency: All reference to currency herein is to lawful money of Canada, unless otherwise specified herein.
  13. This ACA may be executed in any number of counterparts and all such counterparts taken together shall be deemed to constitute one and the same instrument.

Acknowledgement And Acceptance

[Note to NSO’s: The assumption is that your ACA is presented at the same time as the n signature of the HP Athlete Agreement.]

Each Party agrees to and accepts the terms and conditions of this ACA. Each Party acknowledges that they each have the right to obtain independent legal advice before signing this ACA. The Parties also hereby acknowledge that either such advice has been obtained or that they do not wish to seek or obtain such independent legal advice. Each Party further acknowledges and agrees that they have read this ACA and fully understand its terms, and that all such terms are reasonable and that they are signing this ACA freely, voluntarily and without duress.

IN WITNESS WHEREOF, the Parties hereto have caused this ACA to be executed, as of the date first above written.

[ATHLETE NAME]

[NSO]

By:

Athlete Name:

Name:

Title:

Guardian Name:
(if Athlete is under the age of majority)

Appendix 1: Marketing Rights

[Note to NSO’s: This Appendix is highly customizable and will need to be changed to use the language adopted by your sport]

Pursuant to the framework established in the Athlete Commercial Agreement, the Athlete acknowledges and agrees that the Athlete will provide the following Marketing Rights to the NSO during the Term:

2 Meet and Greets as requested by the NSO provided that notice of such Meet and Greets is provided to the Athlete in writing no later than ten (10) business days prior to the Meet and Greet. NSO represents and warrants that Meet and Greets will last no more than two (2) consecutive hours.

Personal Appearance/Promotional Days as requested by the NSO provided that notice of such Personal Appearance/Promotional Days is provided to the Athlete in writing no later than ten (10) business days prior to the Personal Appearance/Promotional Days. Personal Appearance/Promotional Days shall last no more than four (4) consecutive hours on any one occasion. Personal Appearance/Promotional Days exclude requests made by the Government of Canada, the Canadian Olympic Committee, or the Canadian Paralympic Committee through the NSO.

Fundraising Activity as requested by the NSO provided that notice of such Fundraising Activities is provided to the Athlete in writing no later than ten (10) business days prior to the Fundraising Activities.

2 Media Appearances as reasonably requested by NSO provided that notice of such Media Appearances is provided to the Athlete in writing no later than ten (10) business days prior to the Media Appearances.

3 Social Media Posts as reasonably requested by NSO, for Non-Commercial Use.

2 Social Media Posts as reasonably requested by NSO, for Commercial Use, where conflicts do not exist.

A reasonable number of Non-Commercial Use promotional activities that may be requested by Sport Canada on behalf of the Government of Canada, the Canadian Olympic Committee, or the Canadian Paralympic Committee where the arrangements for such activities are made through NSO.

[Note to NSO’s: You may need to add an exception here to clarify whether Athlete is required to perform certain marketing functions on behalf of the IF or at World Cups/World Series events, such as:

The above list of Marketing Rights provided by the Athlete will not apply to World Cup activities or related events, all of which will be included in the athlete’s commitment to NSO marketing activities as these marketing uses are required by the IF/Governing Body and are not a requirement imposed by the NSO.]

The Athlete will provide the above Marketing Rights on the following terms and conditions:

Compensation for NSO Sanctioned Activities. The Athlete agrees to provide the services outlined above in exchange for compensation set out in the Athlete Marketing Schedule below.

Compensation for Excess NSO Sanctioned Activities: For attendance at an NSO Sanctioned Activity in excess of the minimum number set out in parts 1-7 above, the NSO agrees to pay the Athlete either:

All monies payable to the Athlete under the terms of this ACA and Appendix 1 must be made payable directly to the Athlete, unless otherwise directed in writing by the Athlete.

The NSO will issue T4A slips for any payment if the NSO makes a direct payment to Athlete.

Expenses. The NSO or NSO Partner shall pay all expenses of the Athlete directly related to the Athlete’s Marketing Rights and participation in any agreed-upon NSO Sanctioned Activity, including, but not limited to, any and all types of transportation, parking, entrance fees, hotel accommodations and meals.

Unless mutually agreed to otherwise, the NSO (and/or the NSO Partner) will make the necessary arrangements for airfare, ground transportation, hotel accommodation, and any other necessary arrangements. The Athlete acknowledges that other than a Force Majeure (as defined in the ACA), the following shall apply:

Airfare will be booked in economy class at the lowest fare available where reasonable and taking into consideration the health and wellbeing of the Athlete;

Ground transportation will include taxis or car rentals and exclude airport limousine services;

Hotel accommodation will be booked based on double occupancy at a hotel with no less than a 2-star/diamond rating, or its equivalent;

Meals will include $X CDN per day, including travel days, for combined breakfast, lunch and dinners that are not provided by NSO, the NSO Partner or the NSO Sanctioned Activity host. If no meals are provided by NSO, the NSO Partner or the NSO Sanctioned Activity host, the following meal per diem will be provided:

Breakfast = $X CDN

Lunch = $X CDN

Dinner = $X CDN

[NOTE to NSO’s: The below is an example of rate carding expectations. Please provide your Athlete Marketing Schedule, designations, etc. customized for your sport and as per your negotiations with your Athlete representatives/teams/etc., again as specific to your sport. Some sports may need to individually negotiate these rights with each Athlete, or with your star athletes.]

Example of rate carding expectations
Level Description & Role Clarity Rate
Level 1
  • First or second year member of the National Team in any discipline, hasn’t had a podium finish in any IF competition, no Olympic medal
  • Role: sign autographs, meet-and-greet, no formal speaking role, social media support
$X
Level 2
  • Member of the National Team in any discipline, podium finish in any IF competition
  • Role: sign autographs, meet-and-greet, pictures with the medal, no formal speaking role, social media support
$X
Level 3
  • Member of the National Team in any discipline, has an Olympic medal
  • Role: sign autographs, meet-and-greet, pictures with the medal, no formal speaking role, social media support
$X
Level 4
  • Olympic Champion, [World/World Series/etc.] Games Champion
  • Role: sign autographs, meet-and-greet, pictures, keynote speaking role
$X

Additional Notes:

Potential appendices for NSO to consider adding:

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