To review current rules and draft new rules that take into account the specifics of each sport and which comply with and are based on the current national and international set of rules.
specialised | experienced | solution-oriented | individual | efficient |
The use of illicit drugs — doping — has become a constant companion to the world of sports reporting. Whether it is to do with anti-doping legislation, the quality or timing of doping controls, the effectivity of the analysis, what is expected of the athletes in respect to their whereabouts, or the competence of the arbitration tribunals — the ensuing daily discussions on this themes are quite diverse and reflect the extent and importance of the global fight against doping in sport.
The broad range of the current anti-doping regulations requires of athletes and coaches to take responsibility, to be careful and inform themselves of the rules and regulations that govern their sport. However, it is also the sport organisations that are being asked to ensure that rules and regulations established within their organisation are explained and clarified to all concerned in the process and that they should implement educational programs for athletes. This would lessen the danger of rules being broken, mismanagement of procedures, and the subsequent damage for all concerned.
Sport itself hangs in the balance. Without effective anti-doping regulations and the success of the global fight against doping there is a very real possibility that not just those who watch and sponsor athletes of all kinds but also the Television channels that bring them to the forefront of entertainment may turn away from sport and find other avenues of entertainment that are less controversial. This would also mean the demise of many future athletes and a great financial loss to sports organisations worldwide.
Manipulation of sports results, i.e. match fixing, destroys the integrity of sport and becomes a serious threat to the confidence of the public, the media, and those who sponsor sport when they know the outcome of a match or event is fixed before it has begun. High stakes increase the risk of manipulation, with end results steered mostly by criminal elements rather than being an exciting event where the glorious uncertainty of a sporting event dominates. If allowed to continue the numbers of such ‘manipulated’ events will rise and alongside it the possible manipulation of athletes and members of sports organisations. Nowadays people bet on all sorts of sports and manipulations are not limited to high performance sports. They can also be found with youth competition bets leaving young athletes especially vulnerable.
The fight against sport manipulation requires fast, decided and effective action. Governments and sports organisations have already taken the first steps, in particular within the range of prevention and prosecution. Match fixing, illegal betting and corruption in sport was a central topic of interest at the UNESCO World Sports Conference MINEPS 2013 in Berlin, and even the Council of Europe is working on this aspect. Further, sports organisations, sponsors, and event organisers have a responsibility to accept, implement and comply with the rules and regulations to prevent manipulation and crime and to ensure the enforcement of the legal consequences of any criminal action.
Good Governance and Compliance
Questionable and unclear rules and management within associations and federations, as well as corrupt behavior, threatens the essential structures of sport. Without effective rules or communication of procedures being given to those people involved in enforcing them i.e. officials, federation employees, competition judges or referees, sport will constantly be vulnerable to unethical practices.
A transparent and open framework of clear and concise regulations, including an effective clarification to those responsible, will minimize this danger and protect the sport as well as all concerned against any negative consequences.
No matter what type of sports event, whether international, national or regional, sport is a special platform for people to be able to experience in so many different ways, whether it is taking part, watching or even utilizing. At the same time there are also many aspects to take into consideration when organising any sort of sports event from, looking at the requirements for each specific sport, up to taking into account the rules and regulations within the relevant sport organisations, and utilizing and protecting the rights of all connected within the sports event — in particular with regard to promotion and media representation. Alongside this there are also potential risks at any event, which can be caused by the forces of nature, or any violent outbursts within the spectators, and need to be considered.
A successful event and its economic success depend more often than not on details in the preparation. Good and legally secure planning is paramount to a smooth operational flow avoiding any cause for upsets or distress and will contribute, at least in regard to organisation, to the success of the event. However, it is imperative that organisations adopt a proactive strategy to protect their sponsors from ‘ambush marketers’ in order to secure the economic success of their event and all relevant risks are dealt with and, when indicated, insured before said event.
Sponsoring is one at the most frequently used means of communication of business enterprises. Sport sponsoring takes one of the most dominant positions. It is linked with so many characteristics that are part of life itself i.e. tension, emotions, passion, team spirit and fair play. If the goal is to create a positive image transfer then one of the best ways to do this is by sponsoring sport events, the perfect context of enterprise communication. Unfortunately sport sponsoring can also be a risk, in particular cases of doping, manipulation or violence which would damage that positive image transfer, along with ambush marketing, which could lead to loss of revenue for sponsors.
Sport sponsors can protect themselves against the risks involved by negotiating, with the federations, organisations or athletes, a contract safeguarding their sponsorship, which those involved are then obligated to observe. Furthermore sport sponsors must also have the possibility should there be a proven case of doping, manipulation, violence, or ambush marketing, to be able to withdraw their sponsorship without loss.
Sports and Media
Sport promises tension, passion, emotions and therefore good ratings with an audience that covers all age groups. Sport is always in demand as content for the media, both for the large TV-transmitters and for new media. But not all kinds of sport or competitions are directly in demand from media companies added to which the transmission times are often very short, as sport is in direct competition with other program choices, at least at those broadcasters with full coverage and a large network range.
Naturally almost every kind of sport is interested in offering televised images of their events to a larger audience, in order to bring the sport to fans near and far, increasing its visibility and therefore making it interesting to possible advertising partners. Should this be a possibility it is important before beginning such a partnership to negotiate relevant points i.e. transmission times, warranties, representation possibilities, along with an agreement of co-operation (contract) and the instigation of any necessary licences explained clearly and concisely.
Unfortunately not all representations are desirable or legal in the media and if any personal or advertising rights are damaged by reports, campaigns or advertising contributions by the media then fast legal protection is necessary in order to prevent further reporting to limit the damage and/or instigate a claim for damages.
Dr. Anja Martin
is a certified lawyer specialising in sports law and sport management. Previous last years she was a Professor at the Macromedia University for Applied Sciences where she worked as a specialist in the area of sport and events. Anja Martin also acts as keynote speaker at international conferences and is member of the Ethics Committee of the German Football Association DFB.
Dr. Tanja Haug
is a licensed attorney and has a doctorate in sports science. She specialises in sports and media law, a subject she is very familiar with due to her former experience as an association legal counsel and manager for TV rights. Tanja Haug is co-editor of the “Handbook of Sports Law” and the international journal” Causa Sport”. She also acts as arbitrator at the German Court of Arbitration for Sports.