The International Olympic Committee (IOC), INTERPOL and the United Nations Office on Drugs and Crime (UNODC) have published a paper outlining the action required to tackle corruption as sport aims to recover from the coronavirus pandemic.
The aim of the paper, entitled "Ensuring that integrity is at the core of sport’s response to the pandemic: preventing corruption in sport and manipulation of competitions", is to provide recommendations to those involved in tackling corruption in sport, such as Governments and sporting organizations.
It is hoped the recommendations will ensure integrity is at the center of sport’s response to the COVID-19 pandemic and to enable the sector to contribute effectively in society as the crisis eases.
The paper, which outlines preventative measures, is billed as being an "aligned, proactive approach".
The organizations have warned the temporary absence of sports events does not necessarily eliminate sports integrity issues, and the re-starting of competitions will require special vigilance.
The paper recommends tools are developed to "detect and report corruption in sport and prevent the manipulation of competitions".
The potential impact on salaries caused by the pandemic is cited as a potential challenge, with the paper suggesting that "criminal groups and corruptors may seek to exploit this situation to gain influence".
Avoiding decreasing salaries of those most vulnerable and severely affected and if required to make these temporary whenever possible is among the recommendations, while further development and implementation of reporting mechanisms in sport is suggested.
The paper also warns that some sporting organizations, businesses and associations may find it "difficult, if not impossible, to recover during the post-pandemic phase".
It is recommended that to prevent possible corruption and fraud, objective and transparent criteria is developed to ensure those with the greatest need can qualify and receive assistance.
Specific recommendations have also been made to sport organizations, including adopting relevant regulations in relation to prohibitions of betting on one’s sport, sharing inside information, corrupt conduct, competition manipulations, and an obligation to report.
Efforts to ensure anti-bribery regulations of sport organizations are well respected and implemented are also recommended, as well as ensuring potential breaches are effectively investigated in the view of disciplinary actions.
Awareness-raising sessions for the athletes, their entourage and sport organizations’ officials should also be intensified, the paper recommends.
The IOC has also outlined its efforts to fight corruption within sport, including the Olympic Movement Unit on the Prevention of the Manipulation of Competitions.
The unit is tasked with coordinating, supporting, monitoring and promoting the fight against competition manipulation.
The IOC and UNODC have partnered to design various activities, including providing technical assistance to UN member states in the prosecution of competition manipulation and delivering national and regional joint training sessions, in addition to the development of standard-setting guides and tools.
The Birmingham 2022 Commonwealth Games has signed up to a new participation and equality initiative, "Include Me West Midlands."
The initiative is part of a pledge to secure a more inclusive region, and it is facilitated by the West Midlands Combined Authority (WMCA) in partnership with Sport England and disability charity Activity Alliance.
The aim of the pledge is to show disabled people, and those with long-term health conditions, that an organization has made a commitment to support and consider how it can engage better with people from those groups.
The West Midlands, which includes Birmingham, is aiming to be one of the first regions to achieve widespread signing up to the initiative.
Andy Street, Mayor of the West Midlands said he welcomed the Birmingham 2022 Commonwealth Games signing up to the Include Me West Midlands (WM) pledge.
"This latest signing to Include Me WM helps raise the profile of this initiative which helps to challenge perceptions and change lives of disabled people," said Street.
"Having the Birmingham 2022 Commonwealth Games on board will help give disabled people, and people with long-term health conditions a voice to help improve access and opportunities across the West Midlands.
"In addition, it gives organizations the opportunity to contribute to making the region a better place to live.
"Include Me WM is an example of how all of us who work and live here have a part to play in the success of the West Midlands and how all of us can use our unique roles to deliver lasting change across our region."
Ian Reid, chief executive of Birmingham 2022, said: "Signing up to Include Me WM, which is such an important initiative for the region, further underlines our pledge to organize an accessible event and follows our recent unveiling of the Birmingham 2022 Accessibility and Inclusion Commitment.
"This commitment incorporates the Birmingham 2022 Inclusive Games Standard, which takes current legislation and existing regulations as a baseline and builds on these to create a new blueprint for accessibility standards at a Commonwealth Games and for major events being held in the West Midlands for years to come."
There are three main ways that Include me WM have advised organizations to use to try to engage with groups and understand ways to be more inclusive.
The first suggested method is titled Listen to Me, which refers to discussing needs in a safe and private environment and listening to thoughts and views on how to improve services.
The second suggested method is titled Show Me, which involves showing that disabled people are already undertaking activities and working within an organization, to give others the confidence to get involved.
My Channels is the third suggested method, which involves using the channels that are trusted to communicate with disabled people and those with long term health conditions.
Wednesday, July 01, 2020
Longest Olympic Record Holder Speaks with Islandstats.com
Bob Beamon's Record Still Stands
Bob Beamon, an American former Track and Field athlete, best known for his world record in the long jump at the Mexico City Olympics in 1968 joins islandstats.com and Coach Hatcher from Sports Inside and Out.
Beamon broke the previous record by a margin of 55 cm (21 2⁄3 in.) and his world record stood for almost 23 years until it was broken in 1991 by Mike Powell.
As of 2020, the jump is still the Olympic Record and the second-longest wind-legal jump in history.
Beamon discusses the events back in the 1960’s right through to events happening today.
Tuesday, June 30, 2020
Fletcher Has to Wait Until 2021 for IOC Athletes Vote
The IOC Executive Board (EB) approved the updated timelines for the upcoming IOC Athletes’ Commission election, following the postponement of the Olympic Games Tokyo 2020.
The postponement of Tokyo 2020 has impacted the regular election schedule and renewal of the terms of office of the members of the IOC Athletes’ Commission (AC), both regarding the elections that were due to take place in Tokyo in August 2020 and for the elections that will take place at the Olympic Winter Games Beijing 2022.
A set of recommendations were developed by the IOC AC to address the impact of the modified Tokyo 2020 timeline on the election procedures, with the aim of ensuring the continuity of and avoiding disruption to the IOC AC’s work, which is and will continue to remain essential. The recommendations were presented to the IOC Executive Board (EB) recently, and resulted in the following decisions:
To postpone the IOC Athletes’ Commission election, scheduled to take place in July 2020, to the Games of the XXXII Olympiad held in 2021; That the candidates approved by the EB on December 5th, 2019 will remain the only candidates for this election; That the terms of the IOC AC members who will be elected in 2021 will expire on the day of the Closing Ceremony of the Olympic Games Los Angeles 2028, at the latest; That the candidature process for the IOC AC election scheduled to take place at Beijing 2022 will be launched in February 2021, but the submission of candidatures and the subsequent approval process will be finalized after the IOC AC election at the Games of the XXXII Olympiad in 2021, but no later than November 2021; To extend the terms of the five current IOC AC members whose terms were due to expire in 2020 (Kirsty Coventry, Danka Bartekova, Tony Estanguet, James Tomkins and Stefan Holm) until the Games of the XXXII Olympiad in 2021; and To extend the terms of office for the IOC AC Chair (Kirsty Coventry) and Vice-Chair (Danka Bartekova), in accordance with the IOC AC Regulations, until the Games of the XXXII Olympiad in 2021.
These recommendations will now be submitted to the 136th IOC Session in July 2020. The EB will also recommend to the Session to extend the terms as IOC Members of the five current IOC AC members whose terms are due to expire at the Games of the XXXII Olympiad, and that Kirsty Coventry remain a member of the EB until such date.
At its previous meeting in May, the EB had launched a review of the schedule of the IOC AC election in light of the postponement of Tokyo 2020, with a view to holding the election in 2021. The IOC AC election was initially due to take place in the summer of 2020 in Tokyo, with 30 candidates from 30 National Olympic Committees (NOCs) and 19 summer sports standing for the four available positions.
Bermuda Olympian Julian Fletcher is standing for a position on the IOC Athletes’ Commission and will have to wait until 2021.
Sunday, June 28, 2020
Lawyer Calls for Caribbean Sports Court
Internationally regarded sports lawyer, Dr. Emir Crowne, is advocating for the creation of a regional sports court to settle disputes involving Caribbean athletes, as he feels that costs associated with taking cases to the Court of Arbitration for Sport (CAS) is not possible for most athletes from the region.
Crowne was speaking in a wide-ranging Gleaner Sports Live interview on Instagram recently, where he discussed his criticisms of the World Anti-Doping Agency (WADA) regarding their doping protocols, as well as his upcoming defense of embattled 400m world champion Salwa Eid Naser for a filing violation.
Crowne does not believe that the CAS, which is based in Switzerland, is capable of addressing regional sporting issues such as doping, because of the high cost involved for athletes’ cases to be heard.
It can cost from $1.4 million to over $4.4 million to have cases heard at CAS.
“The Court of Arbitration for Sport is hailed as the gold standard for sport. If that is people’s idea of gold, then it is fool’s gold. To just register your appeal cost 1,000 Swiss francs, which is US$1,000. To have the arbitration heard by just one panelist is between 8,000 and 10,000 Swiss francs. Doping cases 90 per cent of the time are heard by a panel of three. So a panel of three, you triple that, and it is at least 25,000 to 40,000 Swiss francs,” Crowne said. “You give me one athlete in the developing world that has 40,000 Swiss francs lying around to fund a doping appeal. I think CAS is inadequate to deal with doping disputes from smaller counties.”
Although the CAS does have legal aid available for athletes, Crowne says it is only accessible if proof is shown that the athlete cannot maintain a standard of living otherwise.
“You only get it if you prove that by funding the CAS appeal, you essentially won’t be able to eat or pay your rent. If you are a middle-class athlete you would not get it. It’s a terrible system in terms of the cost,” he said.
It is for this reason Crowne feels that a regional sports court would be sufficient for settling disputes in a timely manner. He referenced a dispute regarding a Jamaican discus thrower, where he was able to advance an appeal to the CAS at no cost because of provisions in the Olympic charter. He said that experience led him to believe that a regional sports court would be suitable not just for doping disputes, but matters involving team selections and other matters.
“The real access to justice is if there was a regional sports court so athletes can have their grievances heard. Doping cases get all of the headlines but the real cases are the team selection cases that go unheard of,” Crowne stated. “It should be a CARICOM-based court where athletes can approach.”