Journalists open website for sport’s whistleblowers
Photo: Kate Tee Haar/Flickr
15.07.2016By Søren Bang
Whistleblowers with confidential information about the murky sides of sport have been central in the uncovering of the scandals in FIFA, Russian athletics and more in recent years.
Now, a group of investigative journalists and it-experts has made it more secure and simple for sport’s insiders to provide information about critical or criminal matters within sport through the new website sportsleaks.com.
Behind the website is, among others, German journalist Hajo Seppelt, who, in a series of documentaries aired on the German TV network ARD, has played a vital role in documenting a widespread doping culture in Russian athletics and its connections to the top of the international athletics federation, IAAF. These documentaries were largely based on information from the Russian couple Vitaly and Yuliya Stepanov.
But we need more people who are willing to contribute with information, say the initiators behind the website, who, apart from Seppelt, include Antoine Vayer and Matthieu Blanchet from France and German Sebastian Mondial, who each have different experiences within investigative journalism, data handling and internet security.
“It has been apparent for some time that sports' internal measures to fight corruption and cheating have failed. But our experience in recent years has also shown that the troubling situation within sports can change,” the four founders write, explaining the background for creating the website.
“With the help of courageous whistleblowers, professional journalistic research around the world has uncovered a number of examples of corruption and cheating. In response to pressure from the media and the public, sporting and political authorities have been forced to react.”
The new website allows whistleblowers to contact the journalists behind the initiative through a secure internet connection via the so-called Tor-network and all contributions will be dealt with under strict confidentiality if the source wishes to remain anonymous.
Meanwhile, the website promises that all information will be examined thoroughly and that the originators behind the website will make use of their international network of experienced investigative journalists to assess the information.
In the sportsleaks.com network are several journalists and authors who are regulars at Play the Game conferences such as Norwegian Andreas Selliaas and Alessandro Donati from Italy.
Read more about sportsleaks.com