Section 7: Athlete/NSO Agreement
Athletes approved for AAP funding must sign an Athlete/NSO Agreement. This section describes the policies and procedures associated with this agreement.
All athletes approved for carding and their NSOs must sign an Athlete/NSO Agreement each carding cycle.
The purpose of the Athlete/NSO Agreement is to set down in writing the rights, responsibilities and obligations of the athlete and the NSO.
The Agreement must clearly specify the following:
- Benefits available to the carded athlete through his or her NSO.
- The NSO’s obligations.
- The athlete’s obligations, including a commitment to follow an agreed-upon training and competitive program.
- Any other commitments to the NSO that the carded athlete is required to make (for instance, time, promotional activities or financial commitments).
- The Agreement’s duration (not to exceed one carding year).
- Specific Sport Canada and NSO policies the carded athlete must abide by, including the following:
- The Canadian Policy Against Doping in Sport;
- The Canadian Anti-Doping Program;
- The NSO’s anti-doping policy;
- AAP policies and procedures (this document); and
- Federal government sport policy regarding competitions where participation is not permitted.
- The hearing and appeal procedure that will be used in any dispute between the carded athlete and the NSO. This procedure must conform with natural justice and procedural fairness and include access to the Sport Dispute Resolution Centre of Canada.
- Details, if applicable, of the carded athlete’s trust fund.
- The lead time for the publication of selection criteria (i.e., how far ahead of the next carding cycle the selection criteria will be published).
- Sport Canada carding is not contingent upon an athlete agreeing in his or her Athlete/NSO Agreement to any conditions other than those specified above. In other words, all aspects of the Athlete/NSO Agreement other than those specified above are to be negotiated between the athlete and the NSO.
- All clauses in the Agreement must clearly define the athlete’s expected conduct.
- The Agreement must be in plain, understandable language, not legal jargon. Basic rights such as freedom of speech and confidentiality of medical records must be respected.
A model Athlete/NSO Agreement is approved by the NSO and the athletes’ elected representative on the NSO’s Board of Directors (or another appropriate committee).
The model Agreement is modified as required. For example, individual athletes may need to modify or negotiate specific clauses to fit their situation.
To facilitate the development of fair and comprehensive athlete/NSO agreements, Sport Canada has developed a sample agreement (see Annex A). It should be noted that this sample 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. Athlete/NSO agreements should be modified as needed to reflect the individual sport’s characteristics and the individual athlete’s needs.
It is the NSO’s responsibility to ensure that all carded athletes sign their Athlete/NSO Agreement. Within two months of the start of the NSO’s carding cycle, the NSO must provide Sport Canada with written confirmation that all carded athletes have signed their Athlete/NSO Agreement. Athletes for whom Sport Canada has not received confirmation of signing from the NSO may have their AAP payments withheld until the NSO confirms in writing that the Agreement is signed.
Where an athlete and the NSO cannot agree to the terms of their Athlete/NSO Agreement, an athlete’s carding will not be withheld if the athlete agrees to all the terms required by Sport Canada. In this situation, the athlete and the NSO may avail themselves of the mediation services of the Sport Dispute Resolution Centre of Canada.