PtG Article 23.02.2011

WADA’s Director General strikes alarm bells against organized crime in sports

Sports organisations are not capable of dealing with issues threatening the integrity of sport alone, WADA Director General David Howman states and calls for the establishment of a World Sports Integrity Agency.

At the EU Sport Forum David Howman, Director General of the World Anti-Doping Agency (WADA) strengthened his previous call for the establishment of a 'World Sports Integrity Agency' in order to combat organized crime in sports as well as bribery and corruption.

"I propose that we in the sports world establish an international body (the World Sports Integrity Agency) that would have an overarching governing board made up of Sport and Governments similar to the WADA Board.

"One arm of this possible new organization could be WADA, which would continue its work in its current form.

"Another arm could deal with the issue of illegal betting and be funded substantially by the regulated betting industry and the other arm should engage in the fight against bribery and corruption which could be funded by the collection of monies recovered as a result of the investigations", Howman said in a written statement read today at the EU Sport Forum 2011 Journalists’ Seminar in a debate on 'Good governance in sport'. 

According to Howman, sports organisations are not capable of dealing with these threats without the help from governments and other stakeholders. 

"The key issue is that the criminal underworld is engaged in clear and serious efforts to corrupt the sporting world. Sports organizations do not have the experience, the resources or the legal jurisdiction, to deal with those issues alone. However, the money that the criminal underworld has is considerable. Thus it needs governments, sports organizations and the legitimate gambling industry to unite together to save sport," Howman states and underlines the need to act soon.

"If we do not do this, we face a very rocky future", Howman concludes his statement.

Among the participants at the EU Sport Forum 2011 Journalists’ Seminar were member of the Council of Europe Parliamentary Assembly, Irish Senator Cecilia Keaveney, Tjeerd Venstra, Vice-President of World Lottery Association, Mathieu Moreuil, Head of European Public Policy, English Premier League and Play the Game's International Director Jens Sejer Andersen. 

The debate was marked by the closed symposium to be held by the International Olympic Committee on March 1, a symposium that will discuss ways to combat   match-fixing and gambling. Both WADA and World Lottery Association will be represented at the symposium as will Keaveney.

Read WADA Director General David Howman's statement here