PtG Article 27.11.2006

Former UN weapons inspector to watch over skiing ethics

Ethics has also become a focal point for the International Ski Federation (FIS). The FIS Council has decided to set up an Ethics Commission and has appointed former UN weapons inspector Hans Blix as its first member.

The tasks of the new ethics commission is to ensure that FIS’ Code of Ethics (link disabled) is respected and to advice on how conflicts of interests can be avoided.

The FIS Code of Ethics apply to all employees, partners and members of the FIS Council including the president and the secretary general. It sets out rules against receiving payment, commissions and gifts in connection with working for FIS and it also obliges council members to execute their duties in an impartial manner and to immediately declare any conflicts of interests and seek advice from the ethics commission.

FIS spokeswoman Riika Rakic explains that the new ethics commission has been set up to avoid that the International Ski Federation experiences scandals of the kind that have marred other sports organisations and because there is a generally heightened focus in the world of sport on ensuring the implementation of principles of good governance.

The ethics commission will be made up of three members who are appointed for a two-year period.

The first appointment is former UN Weapons inspector Hans Blix.

''The goal is to have some established personalities with a trusted reputation in the world to serve on this committee, Mr. Blix obviously meets those criteria,'' Rakic says.

Blix led the UN inspectors team who searched for weapons of mass destruction in Iraq before the U.S.-led invasion in 2003. He heads the Stockholm-based Weapons of Mass Destruction Commission, which is sponsored by the Swedish government.

Rakic tells Play the Game that other outstanding personalities have either been or will be approached for the other two places on the ethics commission. Once confirmed by the FIS Council, their appointment will be made public.