Sport Whistle | Existing needs and challenges
Whistleblowing Of Harmful Irregularities In Sport Through Learning & Education | Erasmus Plus
Whistleblowing, Harmful Irregularities, Sport Doping Match Fixing , Manipulation , Bribery , Sexual Harassment, Bulling, Cheating
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Existing needs and challenges

Existing Needs and Challenges

A key challenge in preventing and fighting, harmful irregularities in sport is to detect and expose these sport irregularities and other acts of wrongdoing in sport. One of the most direct approaches of shining the light on aforementioned harmful irregularities in sport, is whistleblowing, that is the disclosure of information related to corrupt, illegal, fraudulent or hazardous activities being committed in or by public sport or private sector sport business and autonomous sport organizations, which are of concern to, or, threaten, the public interest – to sport individuals or sport entities believed to be able to effect action. Sport whistleblowers are sportswomen, sportsmen, fans, supporters, athletes, athlete’s parents, coaches, instructors, trainers, referees, sport employees, sport agents, sport executives, sport business partners or sport customers of a company, an administrative sport body or a sport federation organization sport union or club, who [in good faith] point out: risks, illegal practices or unethical behavior, such as:

  • harassment and especially sexual harassment of young athletes and women
  • psychological pressure and abuse
  • bribery bad governance corruption and fraud
  • sport games match fixing and athletic events manipulation
  • doping and illegal use of drugs and sport supplements
  • violence bullying and blackmailing, linked with the aforementioned harmful behaviour and practices

Sport whistleblowers are invaluable in exposing most of the forms of competitive sport irregularities corruption, fraud bribery match fixing, doping and mismanagement. Early preventive disclosure of wrongdoing or the preventing the risk of wrongdoing can protect athletes coaches, sport staff, sport administrators and fans supporters, help to save health from doping, transparency from corrupted governance, integrity from match fixing, physical and phycological health of athletes, even lives and preserve the rule of sport law, sportsmanship and ethics.

Need to express social roles

In general , whistleblowers, express critical socio-cultural role, and play also an essential role in exposing corruption, fraud, mismanagement and other wrongdoing that threaten public health, physical health [doping], security [violence], safety [harassment], financial integrity [match fixing – bribery, illegal sport betting fraud], human rights [racism bulling], and the rule of law [sport disciplinary codes, sport ethics charters, codes of conduct, code of ethics]. By disclosing information about such sport related misdeeds, whistleblowers have helped save the integrity of sport sport, ethics, and billions of euros in public funds, or sponsorships, while preventing emerging sport scandals and sport corruption from worsening.
Whistleblowers often take on high personal risk. They may be fired, sued, blacklisted, arrested, threatened or, in extreme cases, assaulted or killed.

Need for protection of the rights of the European citizens-freedom of expression

Protecting whistleblowers from such retaliation, will promote and ease the efficient exposing of sport related corruption, while also, enhancing openness and accountability in governmental sport practices policies and procedures and also in corporate sport workplaces, at confederations, federation,s sport organizations, sport leagues, sport unions, even at N.O.Cs and I.Fs. The right of citizens to report wrongdoing is a natural extension of the right of freedom of expression, and it is linked to the principles of sports transparency and sport integrity. All sport people have the inherent right to protect the well-being of other citizens, [ practicing competitive and or recrrational sports], and sport society at large, and, in some cases, they have the duty through code of ethics code of conduct and sport laws to report wrongdoing. The absence of effective protection can therefore pose a dilemma for whistleblowers: they are often expected or obliged to report corruption and other crimes, but doing so can expose them to retaliation.

Need for new law / policies / procedure

Recognizing the role of whistleblowing in corruption-fighting efforts, many countries have pledged to enact whistleblower protection laws through international conventions. And, ever more governments, corporations and non-profit organizations around the world are putting whistleblower procedures in place. It is essential, however, that these policies provide accessible disclosure channels for whistleblowers, meaningfully protect whistleblowers from all forms of retaliation, and ensure that the information they disclose can be used to advance needed reforms. A sport whistleblowing policy procedure and compliance system could provide a secure channel for sport whistleblowers to submit insider information to the appropriate of the affected country or to the appropriate section at the affected sport federation, sport union, sport club, or sport organization itself.

Sport ministries, relative administrative departments, autonomous sport federations, sport leagues sport unions, and professional sport clubs, could, benefit from uncovering harmful sport irregularities grievances and risks early, as subsequent costs and damages to reputation, image, integrity and sport ethics can be avoided. Without sufficient legal protections and reliable avenues to report wrongdoing, employees and stakeholders in the sport public and private sector, throughout Europe, face being fired, demoted or harassed if they expose corruption and other crimes. Without policies and procedures, whistleblowers are inhibited from, coming forward, thus, taxpayer money for sports, public sport facilities and property, resources and lives themselves, are at risk.

Barriers need to break - and risks to avoid

Despite some first signs of progress in whistleblowing and sport compliance, much remains to be done toward ensuring that whistleblowers in the EU receive the protections they deserve under European and international standards. Sport political will, is lacking in many countries. More whistleblower laws would be in place today, and sport government leaders, followed through on, their commitments to, pass and enforce them. Whistleblowing carries professional and personal risks. EU citizens practicing competitive or non competitive sport should consider using safe avenues to report corruption or other serious wrongdoing in their sport workplace or on the sport fields, stadiums and gyms, and seek the best available advice before doing so.

Nevertheless, there are many barriers that prevent sportwomen and sportsmen from speaking up. Public sport trust, in the ability of, all sport institutions in the public and autonomous sport sector, to deal with, sport harmful irregularities, is low, and reporting options, or mechanisms, are often, not specific and safe, but unclear or unreliable. Sport Laws or sport policies and procedures, that should protect sport whistleblowers are poorly implemented or non-existent and European citizens often do not know their sport rights or how to effectively exercise them.