PtG Article 10.07.2017

Top names ready for Play the Game 2017

WADA’s President Craig Reedie and investigators Richard H. McLaren and Hajo Seppelt are among the keynote speakers declaring ready for debates at the 10th Play the Game conference in Eindhoven

With a little less than five months to go, a number of keynote speakers have now confirmed that they are ready to engage in debates on the most sensitive issues in sports politics when Play the Game celebrates its 20th anniversary and 10th international conference from 26-30 November in Eindhoven.

Though the office is still busy sending out invitations, and many have not yet been asked, positive replies keep coming in from leading experts.

One of the most burning issues is if and how the international anti-doping cooperation can continue after the recent doping scandals linked to mostly Russia and international athletics. Three of of the main investigators into the case will share their results and experience – investigative journalist Hajo Seppelt, CAS arbitrator and lawyer Richard H. McLaren, and former WADA President Richard W. Pound have all accepted the invitations.

WADA itself will be represented at the highest political level by its President, Sir Craig Reedie, who will speak on the opening day. He will be accompanied by Benjamin Cohen, WADA’s Director of the European Office and IF Relations. And thanks to an agreement with iNADO (Institute of National Anti-Doping Organisations), a lot of international leading anti-doping experts are expected to come to Eindhoven, including Travis T. Tygart, USADA's Chief Executive Officer.

But doping is not the only top issue. Former Brazilian national football captain and World Cup winner, Raí Oliveira, will speak on the impact the Rio Olympics and the FIFA World Cup had on his home country. Today he chairs Atletas pelo Brasil (Athletes for Brazil) which works for a more socially conscious sport community in Brazil.

Talking football, the question of FIFA reforms will be debated by the recently destituted chair of the adjucidatory body of FIFA’s ethics committee, the German judge Hans-Joachim Eckert, and hopefully also FIFA representatives will join.

Also joining the debate is Deputy Financial Prosecutor at the National Finances Prosecution Office in France, Jean-Yves Lourguilloux. His office has been tasked with the investigating and prosecution of the former leadership of the International Association of Athletics Federations (IAAF) for corruption issues including the self-enrichment at the expense of sport and athletes.

Overall, governance and the fight against corruption in crime will be a dominant theme, with experts like former WADA Director General David Howman, now chairing the integrity body of international athletics, IOC’s Chief Ethics and Compliance Officer Pâquerette Girard-Zappelli, investigative journalists Jens Weinreich, Grit Hartmann and many others.

“The many leading experts in our Programme Committee will provide top quality over a wide range of issues, such as journalism, whistleblowing, ethics, governance, innovation and other main themes,” says Jens Sejer Andersen, international director and main programme responsible.

The committee is currently reviewing 50 abstracts that have come in. The deadline for submission is 7 August, and based on experience, an additional 30-40 experts will ask to present in the months to come – on top of those who are still considering an invitation or not yet invited. At the last edition of Play the Game, 165 presentations were given over the three and a half day conference.

Submit an abstract

We invite academics, journalists, sports officials and other stakeholders to contribute with your knowledge, experience and opinions at Play the Game 2017 in Eindhoven, the Netherlands, from 26-30 November – the tenth edition of a conference that has become a world leader in the international sports debate.

Read more about submitting an abstract

Join the debate and take part in Play the Game 2017

Registration for the conference is open and if you register before 1 Sptember, you will benefit from the early bird price and save €100

Register for Play the Game 2017

Play the Game 2017 will take place in Eindhoven, the Netherlands’ high-tech industrial heartland, also known as the 'Brainport' Region. The city of Eindhoven is a design and technology hub surrounded by an innovative culture.

More information

  • See the full list of speakers for Play the Game 2017 (the list will be updated regularly as new names are confirmed)