PtG Article 28.09.2022

Member of European Parliament launches call for a world anti-corruption agency for sport

MEP Viola von Cramon will launch a proposal for a world anti-corruption agency for sport on 4 October 2022 in an event that will be streamed online.

In the first week of October, Viola von Cramon, a member of the European Parliament, will launch her proposal for a world anti-corruption agency for sport together with a study of the current state of affairs on corruption in elite sports worldwide.

"It is time to change the rules of engagement, to put the autonomy of sport on a new footing and reorganise it around accountability and transparency. There is clearly a need for an independent watchdog organisation with transnational reach and the power to act in cases of corruption", Viola von Cramon argues on a website that campaigns for setting up the agency called WACA.

The launch will take place on Tuesday 4 October from 15.00 - 17.30 CEST with a panel discussion in the European Parliament in Strasbourg that can also be accessed online via Zoom. The panel consists of athlete representatives, academics, journalists, and organisations working in the field of sports integrity:

  • Jens Sejer Andersen, Play the Game
  • Paulina Tomczyk, EU Athletes
  • Declan Hill, journalist and academic
  • Steve Menary, journalist and academic
  • Miguel Poiares Maduro, European University Institute
  • Maximilian Klein, Athleten Deutschland e.V.

The event will begin with a presentation of key findings from the study of corruption in elite sports. The study has been carried out by investigative reporter Grit Hartmann and lays out the specifics and extent of corruption in global sports before discussing the legal framework for combating sports corruption and recommending a solution.

The study can be downloaded from the website which also contains a brief outline of the proposed world anti-corruption agency. The suggestion is that the WACA's mandate should cover all types of corruption in sports except doping violations, and the agency's role is to ensure compliance with the code that will be developed as part of the agency's work. It should have a broad mandate to detect, investigate, and sanction violations, and to liaise with law enforcement agencies to ensure the prosecution of criminal offences.

The code should apply to a wide range of actors within the world of sport but based on experiences from WADA, the WACA should not be controlled and run by people from sports organisations. Similarly, Viola von Cramon argues that the WACA should not be based in Switzerland which is home to many international sports federations but in a European country "with a robust justice system and traditions of respect for the rule of law, strong law enforcement and a culture of accountability."

The link for participation in the Zoom session will be posted on the campaign website in the days before the event.

The topic of a world anti-doping agency was also discussed at the 2022 Play the Game conference. Watch the session here:

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