Tuesday, October 4, 2011

Volleygate, Whistleblowing and Sports Governance Research

In the evening session last night at PTG 2011, Mario Goijman, former President of the Argentinean Volleyball Federation and pictured to the left, recounted his decade-long fight against the International Volleyball Federation (FIVB). He gave a passionate and at times gut-wrenching account of what happened to him after he blew the whistle on financial corruption in the FIVB.

Play the Game, which has in the past taken on Goijman's cause, calls the events surrounding Goijman "Volleygate," and provides a primer here and here. Long story short -- Goijman's revelations caused a backlash against him and revealed the resistance to and perhaps even inability of sporting associations to deal with allegations of (if not actual) corruption.

Goijman, who apparently has gone nearly bankrupt fighting the FIVB, cannot be seen as anything other than a cautionary warning to other whistleblowers in sport -- One speaks out at some considerable risk.

As Volleygate involves colorful characters, interesting institutional and legal issues and goes to core questions of sport governance, it would appear to be a compelling case study for academics to explore.  So I took a look at Google scholar to see what has been written on the episode. Much to my surprise, nada.  There is a great, untapped research project here. There is also a sobering story of a proud man who stands tall even after it all. 


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