Transparent and Accountable Decision-making Processes
Ideally, sporting governance structures should resemble international cor-
porate standards. A primary principle is the separation of the management
(initiation and implementation) and oversight (ratification and monitor-
ing) of decision making, which dramatically reduces the likelihood of an
individual manipulating the process for personal gain. As in commercial
operations, this might be done by appointing a board of directors to ratify
and monitor important decisions, to include hiring, firing, and compensating
top-level executives.
Another way to keep the management honest may be to introduce stake-
holders that have an incentive to protect the sport – lower-tier organisations,
special interest sport organisations, athletes, coaches, and officials – into the
governance structure. This could be undertaken by holding an annual general
meeting or by including stakeholders into the decision-making process itself:
adding them to the board or establishing discrete committees to contribute to
the management and oversight of decisions.
Separate Investigative and Disciplinary Structures
The most obvious way for governing bodies to provide effective intelligence
gathering and investigations functions for all integrity breaches is to establish
a separate “integrity unit”. This would gather data (most likely from a vetted
specialist data provider), undertake detailed assessments, and disseminate
the intelligence to stakeholders. It will typically be staffed by experts and ex-
perienced investigators who continually monitor integrity and compliance
within a sport and investigate where there is cause for concern. Ideally, this
would be headed by a professional executive, reporting directly to the sport’s
chief executive, who can provide effective leadership. The IU head will need to
operate strategically, coordinating with international sporting authorities and
formulate, manage and deliver effective operational and education strategies.
To ensure credibility, the disciplinary function needs to be free from any real
or perceived conflicts of interest and thus be separated from the integrity unit,
which should only provide investigatory evidence. The disciplinary function
GUARDING THE GAME Preserving the Integrity of Sport
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