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Sports Medical and Anti-Doping Law (LAWS70163)

Graduate coursework level 7Points: 12.5On Campus (Parkville)

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Year of offer2019
Subject levelGraduate coursework Level 7
Subject codeLAWS70163
Availability(Quotas apply)
FeesSubject EFTSL, Level, Discipline & Census Date

With attention often focused on the legal side of commercial dealings and related disputes in sport, the law‘s role regarding the basic building block of sport – the human body – can be overlooked. Employing an interdisciplinary approach, this subject will explore the legal and ethical aspects of the medical treatment of elite athletes and the important field of anti-doping. Medico-legal approaches to past and present controversies, including participation of disabled and pregnant athletes, concussion, infectious diseases and single-sex sports will be investigated in case studies sure to interest and challenge.

This subject is for medical professionals working in sport and for sports administrators and legal counsel responsible for day-to-day operational issues, especially anti-doping. The lecturers are two internationally eminent sports medicine practitioners and a legal expert in the field.

This subject considers selected topics from the medico-legal aspects of sports and anti-doping. The primary focus will be upon analysing the legal relationship between the sports medicine professional and the athlete-patient, especially in the context of team sports, where responsibilities are divided between athlete and team. It will incorporate selective study of a number of legal disciplines, including negligence, confidentiality, anti-discrimination law and anti-doping law.

Principal topics include:

  • Responsibility for injury in the practice of sports medicine
  • Sports participation with injury or disability
  • Working with other health professionals in the ‘sports medicine team‘
  • Boxing
  • Concussion
  • Infectious diseases in sport
  • Performance-enhancing drugs with an emphasis on the medico/legal interface
  • Illicit drugs
  • The pregnant athlete
  • Sex status of sports participants.

Intended learning outcomes

A student who has successfully completed this subject will:

  • Have an advanced and integrated understanding of the principles of Australian medico-legal and anti-doping law as they apply within the context of sport, including recent developments in these fields of law and practice
  • Be able to critically examine, analyse, interpret and assess the effectiveness of these legal principles
  • Be an engaged participant in debate regarding emerging and contemporary issues in the field, such as responsibility for avoiding and compensating concussive injury, responsibility for use and administration of supplements and the participation of intersex athletes in single sex sports
  • Have a sophisticated appreciation of the factors and processes driving parliamentary and sporting body revision of the legal and regulatory framework both domestically and internationally
  • Have an advanced understanding of situations in which medico-legal and anti-doping issues may arise in both elite and community based sporting relationships and management practices
  • Have a detailed understanding of medico-legal and anti-doping issues in an international context
  • Have the cognitive and technical skills to generate critical and creative ideas relating to medico-legal and anti-doping issues in sport, and to critically evaluate existing legal and regulatory theories, principles and concepts with creativity and autonomy
  • Have the cognitive and technical skills to independently examine, research and analyse existing and emerging legal issues relating to medico-legal and anti-doping issues in sport
  • Have the communication skills to clearly articulate and convey complex information regarding medico-legal and anti-doping issues in sport to relevant specialist and non-specialist audiences
  • Be able to demonstrate autonomy, expert judgment and responsibility as a practitioner and learner in the field of medico-legal and anti-doping issues in sport.

Last updated: 26 July 2019