IOC to initiate independent audits of International Federations

Photo: Christophe Muratal/IOC

IOC president Thpmas Bach at an IOC press conference, Lausanne, December 2015. Photo: IOC/Christophe Muratal

11.12.2015

By Play the Game
The introduction of external audits of the International federations is the main point in a newly approved IOC declaration that also announces the intent to place anti-doping testing in the hands of an independent body under WADA.

At the closing press conference on Thursday 10. December, IOC president Thomas Bach presented the IOC’s new recommendations for improved governance and protection of clean athletes. The recommendations were included in a declaration unanimously adopted by the executive board during the IOC meeting, running from 8-10. December in Lausanne, Switzerland.

According to the declaration, the IOC will initiate independent auditing of the funds distributed to International Federations. These audits should verify that the money sent towards them is spent in accordance with rules and regulations. It is not solely the expenditures that will be audited by an outside body, but also good governance aspects, says the IOC’s declaration, underlining that the IOC “remains concerned with regard to the ongoing criminal procedures in the United States and Switzerland”. The declaration also encourages FIFA to act swiftly on these issues by further engaging with relevant authorities.

Another major outcome of the meeting was the aim to set up an anti-doping system independent of the sports organisations. Within this new system, sports organisations and International Federations should leave the responsibility of carrying out doping controls to this new independent body residing under WADA. The financing currently put into anti-doping work from both organisations and national governments should continue but be channeled to support the new system.

The establishment of an intelligence unit will allow WADA to act proactively on issues related to compliance, the declaration says. With the implementation of these proposals, the anti-doping system will become “more efficient, more transparent, more streamlined, more cost-efficient and more harmonized,” says the IOC declaration.

Jens Sejer Andersen, international director of Play the Game, expresses hope that the approval of the declaration means that the IOC will no longer turn a blind eye to systemic corruption in many sports.

“It is not too often I have the occasion to share the eternal official optimism expressed in IOC press releases,” he says.

“To wipe out corruption will take more than a press release, and a lot of devils can still hide in a lot of details, but now the IOC has launched some very clear intentions that they can be held accountable to. Which Play the Game will continue to do,” Andersen says.

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