Safety, integrity and ethics in sport

Introduction

Canada is committed to ensure Canadian athletes compete on a safe and fair playing field that is free of doping, harassment, abuse and discrimination.

Safe, welcoming, and inclusive sport environment

The Government of Canada continues to work with its sport partners to ensure that we collectively create a safe and inclusive sport environment for all. Organizations that provide opportunities for Canadians to participate and excel in sport have a responsibility to ensure that they are providing their programs and services in an environment that is free from harassment, abuse, discrimination, and other forms of maltreatment.

Support for the sport system in Canada involves many stakeholders, including the Government of Canada, the private sector, provincial and territorial governments, National Multisport Service Organizations (MSOs), National Sport Organizations (NSOs) and Canadian Sport Centres and Institutes.

As part of its commitment to safe sport, the Government of Canada has taken a number of steps and has made significant investments over the last few years to create a safer, more welcoming and inclusive sport environment.

Expectations and standards for federally funded organizations to ensure safe sport environments for their athletes

To be eligible for funding, all sport organizations must have a policy on harassment, abuse and discrimination, offer mandatory training on those issues, and provide access to an independent third-party to receive and manage complaints.

Effective April 1, 2023, Sport Canada will make changes to contribution agreements with organizations that meet the new eligibility requirements of the Sport Funding and Accountability Framework. The objective is to ensure that sport organizations receiving federal funding meet specific governance, accountability and safe sport standards.

The Government of Canada also supports the following initiatives to ensure a safe sport environment:

Abuse-Free Sport is an independent program that is part of a growing national movement to rid Canadian sport of all forms of harassment, discrimination, and abuse. It aims to prevent maltreatment at all levels of sport across Canada through education, training, and research.

The Canadian Sport Helpline is a free, anonymous, confidential, and independent service, offered in both official languages. It is also the first point of contact with the Abuse-Free Sport program.

The Universal Code of Conduct to Prevent and Address Maltreatment in Sport (UCCMS) sets harmonized rules to be adopted by sport organizations that receive funding from the Government of Canada to advance a respectful sport culture that delivers quality, inclusive, accessible, welcoming and safe sport experiences.

Acting as the central pillar of the Abuse-Free Sport Program, the Office of the Sport Integrity Commissioner, which launched its services in June 2022, is responsible for administering the Universal Code of Conduct to Prevent and Address Maltreatment in Sport (UCCMS). It will gradually become mandatory for federally funded organizations to use the services of the Office of the Sport Integrity Commissioner as their independent third party.

Federal, Provincial and Territorial Alignment

The Government of Canada collaborates with provincial and territorial governments on issues related to sport. Collectively, federal, provincial and territorial governments are working to make the sport system better, safer, and more inclusive.

In February 2019, federal, provincial, and territorial governments all endorsed the Red Deer Declaration, thus committing to collaborative action to prevent harassment, abuse and discrimination in sport. In August 2022, federal, provincial and territorial ministers responsible for sport, physical activity and recreation met to assess the progress made to make sport safer since the Red Deer Declaration and to discuss next steps towards eliminating abuse, harassment, sexual violence and discrimination in sport.

Anti-doping

Canada's domestic anti-doping policies and programs are well respected internationally and the Canadian Anti-Doping Program is fully compliant with the World Anti-Doping Code. Canada continues to exercise leadership in the global anti-doping movement and is host of the World Anti-Doping Agency in Montreal.

The Sport Canada Strategy on Ethical Sport (PDF Version, 305 KB) and the Sport Canada Anti-Doping Sanctions are in place to enhance ethical conduct in Canadian sport. Together, they address key ethical issues in sport, such as doping, abuse/ harassment, concussions and safety-related matters, violence in sport, and other identified ethical issues as they arise. The overall objective is to work collaboratively with our partners, clients, and stakeholders to help protect the integrity of sport.

Read more about Sport Canada’s anti-doping sanctions

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