PtG Article 24.10.2017

Russian sports minister Kolobkov joins the WADA President for doping debates at Play the Game 2017

With one month to go before the 10th Play the Game conference kicks off, new top names are confirming their presence.The Russian sports minister Pavel Kolobkov will speak at the opening, and Dutch football president Michael van Praag addresses white-collar crime.

N.B. Since the publication of this article, Pavel Kolobkov has sent his apologies. Find more information here:

Russian sports minister pulls out, replaced by head of US anti-doping

With the confirmed participation of the Russian Sports minister Pavel Kolobkov, the  opening session of Play the Game 2017 on 26 November in Eindhoven will go directly to the heart of one of the most important sports issues in recent years: The current crisis in international anti-doping after the revelations of systemic doping and corruption in Russian and international elite sport.

Kolobkov will face WADA President Craig Reedie in the debate which will also gather other top names like investigative journalist Hajo Seppelt from Germany, the head of US antidoping Travis Tygart, the lawyer and key investigator Richard H. McLaren from Canada. Together with dozens of leading researchers and officials they will ensure that the doping debate will flourish until the last hours of the conference.

The second day of the conference, a former president and director general of WADA will engage in other roles, when IOC member Richard W. Pound and David Howman join state prosecutors from Brazil and France in analysing how deep the criminal infiltration in sport’s organisations goes and how the unwanted development can be rolled back.

Sport’s own efforts to combat corruption will be presented by Francesco Ricci-Bitti, former international tennis president and today head of ASOIF, and most likely also by Danish NOC President Niels Nygaard. Unfortunately, IOC head of ethics and complicance Pâquerette Girard Zappelli has send her apologies with regret due to an overload of individual cases on her desk. Play the Game is searching for a replacement from the supreme Olympic body.

The crime in sports theme will be continued on Wednesday morning, when the Dutch football president and UEFA executive committee member Michael van Praag joins FIFPro’s Will van Megen and investigative journalists to explore why white-collar crime is becoming more and more prevalent in professional sport.

With music, presentations and live interviews moderated by Canadian investigator Declan Hill, the ‘Governance Café’ co-organised by Knowledge Centre for Sport Netherlands will seek answers to the question “Who owns the future: The battle over new trends in sport" on Tuesday night.

A lesser known side of Van Praag will be revealed when he brings his drum sticks and provides the rhythm for the Dutch-speaking version of the ‘Governance Café’, taking place on the final conference day.

Read more about what to expect from the programme content

Secure your hotel – book now

Rooms at the conference venue Van der Valk Hotel Eindhoven are quickly selling out, so if you want to stay at the heart of conference, secure your room now. If you register before 1 November, you save 100 euro on the final conference price. Register here

In more than 40 sessions, over 150 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