Sports Medical and Anti-Doping Law

Subject LAWS70163 (2016)

Note: This is an archived Handbook entry from 2016.

Credit Points: 12.5
Level: 7 (Graduate/Postgraduate)
Dates & Locations:

This subject is not offered in 2016.

Time Commitment: Contact Hours: The total class time is between 24 and 26 hours.
Total Time Commitment: Not available
Prerequisites: None
Corequisites: None
Recommended Background Knowledge:

Applicants without legal qualifications should note that subjects are offered in the discipline of law at an advanced graduate level. While every effort will be made to meet the needs of students trained in other fields, concessions will not be made in the general level of instruction or assessment. Most subjects assume the knowledge usually acquired in a degree in law (LLB, JD or equivalent). Applicants should note that admission to some subjects in the Melbourne Law Masters will be dependent upon the individual applicant’s educational background and professional experience.

Non Allowed Subjects: None
Core Participation Requirements:

The Melbourne Law Masters welcomes applications from students with disabilities. The inherent academic requirements for study in the Melbourne Law Masters are:

  • The ability to attend a minimum of 75% of classes and actively engage in the analysis and critique of complex materials and debate;
  • The ability to read, analyse and comprehend complex written legal materials and complex interdisciplinary materials;
  • The ability to clearly and independently communicate in writing a knowledge and application of legal principles and interdisciplinary materials and to critically evaluate these;
  • The ability to clearly and independently communicate orally a knowledge and application of legal principles and interdisciplinary materials and critically evaluate these;
  • The ability to work independently and as a part of a group;
  • The ability to present orally and in writing legal analysis to a professional standard.

Students who feel their disability will inhibit them from meeting these inherent academic requirements are encouraged to contact the Disability Liaison Unit:


For more information:

Phone: +61 3 8344 6190

Subject Overview:

With attention often focused on the legal side to 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, 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
  • Infectious diseases in sport
  • Performance-enhancing drugs
  • Illicit drugs
  • The pregnant athlete
  • Sex status of sports participants.
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.

10,000 words research paper (100%) (3 August) on a topic approved by the subject coordinator

Prescribed Texts:

Core subject materials will be provided free of charge to all students. Some subjects require further texts to be purchased. Details regarding any prescribed texts will be provided prior to the commencement of the subject.

Breadth Options:

This subject is not available as a breadth subject.

Fees Information: Subject EFTSL, Level, Discipline & Census Date
Links to further information:
Related Course(s): Graduate Diploma in Health and Medical Law
Graduate Diploma in Legal Studies
Graduate Diploma in Sports Law
Master of Commercial Law
Master of Health and Medical Law
Master of Laws

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