Discrimination, Harassment & Bullying in Sports

For information specific to individuals, go here

For information specific to sporting clubs, organisations and associations read on below.

Discrimination, Harrassment & Bullying in Sports  Advice and Support for Organisations and Individuals

The SportsLawyer team can assist with all matters relating to discrimination, harassment or bullying within your sporting organisation or association.

We assist with preventative action such as:

  • General advice
  • Policy development, reviews or updates
  • Constitution reviews and updates
  • Strategic Plan development
  • General Advice and education of board members

As well as matters that require more immediate advice and action, in relation to:

  • Employee, coach or athlete misconduct or abuse matters
  • Sports investigations
  • Representation in Courts or Tribunals, or negotiations prior to such proceedings.

Strategic Plan, Constitution and Policy Development, Review or Updates

Developing, reviewing and updating policies and procedures that contribute to the effective management of issues relating to bullying, harassment and discrimination is the foundation for a safe sporting environment. These should be reviewed annually and updated to be customised for your organisation and community needs.

To enquire about the development, review or update for good governance, click here.

If you are unsure about how to adequately protect your athletes, it can be helpful to know that there are specific frameworks that can be implemented in order to prevent and manage discrimination, harassment and bullying.

Sports Investigations into Discrimination, Harassment or Bullying

Whether your organisation needs advice to support an internal investigation effectively or you require an independent workplace investigation, our team can help. Where required, we provide urgent legal advice to determine immediate risks and support management or boards in their short-term and longer-term decision making.

Conducting prompt and impartial investigations as situations arise can reduce reputation or financial damage to your sporting organisation or association. Legal advice is essential to determine your position early on, and create a well informed action plan.

To have a confidential discussion with us, click here.

In addition to conducting investigations in response to a report, sports investigations or workplace investigations can identify specific flaws in systems or rules that are in place. From there we advise as to how to change or manage these issues, to mitigate future risk.


Sports Lawyers for Sporting Organisations and Associations

There are significant reputation and financial costs for organisations or associations that fail to take adequate steps to:

  • Prevent harassment, bullying and discrimination; or
  • Fail to respond appropriately and promptly when these behaviours occur.

Our sports lawyers can assist with:

  • Preparing and updating policies and procedures to manage bullying, harassment and discrimination
  • Advising and educating board members about policy development
  • Conducting prompt and impartial investigations
  • Providing general advice and representation for sports organisations/clubs in situations where these behaviours have, or are alleged to have, occurred.

Whether you are in need of initial legal advice or immediate support, we can assist.

Our team specialises in working with sporting organisations of all sizes, across all capital cities and regions of Australia. We focus on managing and minimising your risk so you can focus on your sport.


Across both professional and amateur levels and a range of sports, our team have provided legal advice, drafted and updated policies, Constitutions and supported boards with their Strategic Planning. We have also conducted workplace investigations and successfully appeared in tribunal and Court matters in Australia and overseas.

Examples of successful outcomes for the organisations and associations we have represented include:

  • Having bullying and harassment allegations dismissed;
  • Negotiating a settlement acceptable to both the sport and the aggrieved individual;
  • Successfully prosecuted individuals alleged to have sexually harassed others.
  • Investigated an international athlete following an Olympic Games and provided a detailed investigation that led to the athlete not contesting the alleged breaches of Code of Conduct and Athlete Agreement, so only a hearing as to appropriate penalty was conducted.

How we can help

Where there are concerns or complaints about discrimination, harrassment or bullying in sports, early, independent advice is always the best first step.

Reach out to our sports lawyer team to discuss your sporting organisation’s needs.


Advice and Support For Individuals

The SportsLawyer team assists individuals with all matters relating to discrimination, harassment and bullying in sports.

As an individual in a sporting organisation, association or team, you maintain the right to a safe environment free from harassment, bullying and discrimination.

It is important to seek advice if you have been:

  1. Bullied or harassed. Situations where unreasonable or repeated behaviour has been directed towards you or a group of people, creating risk to the health and safety of those involved.
  2. Discriminated against. Situations where you, or a group of people, are treated unfairly or not as well as others because of a specific characteristic. This could relate to factors such as age, gender, disability, race or religion.

If you have experienced or seen these harmful behaviours take place, you should either reach out to the appropriate contacts within your sporting organisation to report it, or seek expert legal advice.

Sports Lawyers for Individuals

Every participant of a sport maintains the right to a safe environment and to be treated with respect and fairness. No matter what level of sport you belong to or what role you play within a sporting organisation or association, you must be aware of both your obligations and rights in relation to discrimination, harassment and bullying in sports environments.

Our Sports Lawyers assist both:

  • Individuals who are victims of discrimination, harassment or bullying
  • Individuals accused of discrimination, bullying or harassment in sports

We can support you with:


Our Sports Lawyers have provided advice to a number of individuals – coaches, support staff, athletes and executives – over many years. We have represented individuals in matters across Australia and overseas, including:

  • Successfully representing a national champion boxer in CAS after arguing that banning a boxer with a pacemaker was a breach of the International Boxing Rules, and was discriminatory after producing medical evidence that there was no significant risk to the boxer’s health by boxing.
  • Successfully represented a coach accused of abuse which led to a good behaviour bond outcome.
  • Successfully represented a coach accused of bullying and harassment and having the allegations dismissed.
  • Successfully represented a golfer accused of bullying and intimidating behaviour on the golf course. Appealed the suspension, which was overturned and an apology was issued for the way the matter had been investigated and prosecuted.

Our sports lawyers can assist with a range of matters relating to discrimination, harassment or bullying in sports across Australia.

How can we help?

You needn’t walk this road alone. Reach out to our SportsLawyer team for a confidential discussion about your circumstances.