The revelations by the WADA Independent Commission (IC) and the findings of its second report have provided another clear reminder about the significant role governance plays in protecting clean athletes and the integrity of sport, both on and off the field of play, as well as the enormous damage that corrupt and inept governance can do to sport and its values.
The further examples highlighted by the WADA IC today appears to be an astonishing failure of governance within the IAAF, providing many important lessons for sport governing bodies and others as well as reinforcing why the ICSS believes that integrity and governance standards for sport should be established and monitored by a neutral, external body that is independently funded by different sectors of the sports industry.
Moreover, the commendable investigatory work conducted by the WADA IC and its findings should also serve as a stern warning about the devastating social, financial and human impact that corruption in sport can have, which must also be put into context of the significant broader social and economic challenges that the world is currently facing.
Sport has a significant role in society and the ICSS believes that the corruption that has affected football and athletics must inspire lasting reform in the way all sports are governed.
In particular, this reform will require a significant, collective global effort from all sectors – particularly governments and sports governing bodies – and must result in stronger, independent and external regulation of the sports industry, ideally by a neutral international body that regulates sport governance and integrity.
Without the introduction of modern, effective, proactive and accountable sport governance structures, the credibility of sport and clean athletes are at risk.
As part of the its work alongside key international organisations, such as UNESCO, UNODC, OECD and the Council of Europe; the ICSS is committed to continuing to support the establishment of an independent integrity body for sport and encourages governments and sport governing bodies to play an active role in this consultation process to ensure that the scandals like those faced by football and athletics do not happen again.