Thursday, April 9, 2015

Transparency International on Sport Corruption

Transparency International, a global anti-corruption NGO, today has launched a "Corruption in Sport Initiative." They explain what they are up to:
Sport is a multi-billion dollar business engaging billions of people. It is also a global symbol of fair play and a source of great joy for many people on this planet, whether participating, attending or watching events.

With so much public involvement, political influence and money at stake, corruption remains a constant and real risk. Mounting scandals around match-fixing, major events and elections, and systemic deficiencies in sports governance are now so undermining public trust that it is reaching a tipping point.

Keeping sports clean is therefore a global imperative. Our goal is to ensure that sport can continue to “create a way of life based on (…) the educational value of good example and respect for universal fundamental ethical principles” (Olympic Charter).
At the core of the initiative is a major report on sport, which will eventually be comprised of more than 50 (!) chapters on various aspects of corruption and sport. (I am an author of one of these chapters.) Of note is that TI is including the NCAA as a focus in its report.

Five of these chapters have been put online today (available here), including one by Jean-Loup Chappelet, a Swiss academic and dean of scholars on the Olympic movement.  The TI initiative is using a Twitter hashtag #sportintegrity and has a companion set of pieces on the TI blog. You can also find there an interview with Jens Sejer Andersen, international director of Play the Game.

As a participant in the TI effort, I have been extremely impressed with their commitment to accuracy and quality in the preparation of the chapter which I contributed - better than most any academic journal, for sure. The initiative is a significant contribution to the growing interest in sports governance around the world.

Have a look, and participate in the discussion!


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