PtG Article 21.11.2017

Rights and responsibility in sport: Who fights for your rights?

Amidst all the talk about reform and structural changes in sport, are policy makers paying enough attention to rights of the athletes without whom there would be no sport?

In a series of sessions during Play the Game 2017, athlete, labour and human rights in sport will be thoroughly discussed.

Gender classification is a recurring theme when talking about rights in sport.

In a session also touching upon how these classifications are made, cyclist Kristen Worley and journalist Andy Brown will take delegates through what they call “the biggest and longest-running injustice in sport”. The case resulted in sporting bodies promising to alter and revise their policies on gender classification and the so-called ‘Therapeutic Use Exemption’ (TUEs) in doping prevention – something that could make precedence for other athletes.

Athlete unions are fighting hard to secure proper working conditions for athletes in a monopolised system working under the ‘lex sportiva’. According to Brendan Schwab from athlete union World Players Association, this legal system does not adequately protect athletes. At Play the Game 2017, Schwab will present suggestions for an improvement, which will also contribute to restore lost credibility in international sports organisations.

Maximillian Seltmann

from the German Sports University Cologne will provide an overview of labour relations and conditions in sport while , also from Cologne, will look into sport’s monopoly status as an employer of professional athletes.

In a presentation looking into the difficulties international sports organisations have had implementing human rights in relation to mega-events, lawyer and former Olympian Nikki Dryden will argue that a change in leadership is necessary before global sport embraces legal norms.

Yet another look at human rights in sport comes from journalist Laura Robinson who will speak about violations of Canadian first nations’ rights when opposing a powerful sports official.

In more than 40 sessions, over 200 speakers will present their thoughts and opinions on a wide range of the most topical questions in world sport during the tenth Play the Game conference, taking place in Eindhoven, the Netherlands, 26-30 November 2017.Discover the programme and the continuously updated speakers list.Sign up now and secure yourself four days densely packed with debates, discussions and networking between experts and professionals from sport, media and academia.Read more and register