La corrupción en el deporte en 2012
Sylvia Schenk, antigua presidenta de Transparency International Germany se desempeña actualmente como consjera de deportes en la organización; es jurista y antigua olimpista de velocidad.
En un turno de preguntas y respuestas opina sobre los más grandes escándalos de corrupción en el deporte en 2012 y lo que se puede esperar para el próximo año.y.
Describa lo que considere los mayores casose de corrupción en el deporte en 2012.
Los 3 casos más señalados fueron el arreglo de partidos en todo el mundo, la continuación de ldebate en la FIFA (en particular el case de Mohamed bin Hammam case) y la historia de Lance Armstrong .
Regarding match-fixing, it’s a big threat to sports. It’s not just cricket and [soccer], but other sports are affected as well. It’s a big threat, and this will be a big issue in the next year as well.
FIFA is very rich and powerful, and it’s a role model for every other sport. What happens at FIFA has a big influence on what happens at other sports bodies and on perceptions of sports as a whole. If we have improvement at FIFA, we’ll have improvement overall.
Turning specifically to FIFA, what did we learn about the institution in the past year? How, if at all, has it changed since Blatter’s re-election? With Bin Hammam’s resignation, is that scandal fully resolved?
FIFA has started to take some steps at reform; we have to acknowledge this. But as of now, there has not been a comprehensive approach and there are many more steps to take.
One of the things they did was separate the ethics committee into two parts, an investigative chamber and a judicial chamber, and each has a chairman. We still have to wait on how they will accomplish their tasks.
What we saw with the Bin Hammam case that there is a lack of transparency on what the real reasons behind sanctioning him. We had the case of bribery of Caribbean soccer officials in 2011…the Court of Arbitration for Sport acquitted him. Now we learn that the judicial section of the ethics committee sanctioned him for conflict of interest and the punishment was a lifelong ban. A lifelong ban for conflict of interest is surprising and astonishing; it’s a minor incident compared to corruption.
Why [did others] only get banned for only two or three years for accepting money for voting in the executive committee but Bin Hammam got a lifelong ban? We have no details on what conflict of interest Bin Hammam engaged in. There has been no transparency on that; the lifelong ban of Bin Hammam raises a lot of questions.
Has match-fixing in sports received sufficient attention in 2012?
Attention [to match-fixing] increased significantly, especially regarding the political side. Governments, international institutions like the European Union and the Council of Europe, and at least some sports organizations, are taking it on.
What have they done? It depends on the institution. In the political arena, we have a discussion started on a very intense level. There’s work at the Council of Europe to prepare a convention on match-fixing. There is starting to be some more international cooperation between police, investigators, prosecutors and governments. It still has to be improved.
Some sports organizations have started to implement prevention programs but it’s still at the very, very beginning. For example, the International Olympic Committee had a roundtable, but I don’t see any follow-up. In [soccer] we have the cooperation between FIFA and Interpol organizing workshops, but they’re not going far enough. Cricket has a far more detailed program and regulations than [soccer] does. Tennis is quite advanced…what we still need is a systematic approach to match fixing in all sports, with clear rules, sanctioning systems and an education program in place.
Major sports personalities, including household names like Lance Armstrong, faced huge scandals in 2012. What kinds of risks do companies take when they choose to sponsor an athlete?
For a long time, everybody assumed that with sports sponsorship, you have a positive image transfer: It’s all about fair play and positive emotions. Nowadays, sponsors realize that it could be very risky for their own reputation.
Look at what happened to Lance Armstrong…or Tiger Woods and his behavior. The French national [soccer] team at World Cup 2010 was horrible. Sponsors in France had to cancel their advertisements. These examples show how risky it can be to sponsor an athlete, a team or a sports event. Look at FIFA as well; the corruption scandal was difficult for sponsors. They get asked: “If FIFA is perceived as being corrupt, what are you doing about it?”
What do you believe will be the defining sports corruption story, or stories, in 2013?
FIFA completing or not completing its reform process. Will they really investigate cases from the past? I’m referring to the ISL case, [awarding] the World Cups for 2018, 2022 and maybe 2026, as well as all the allegations regarding its executive committee, including its president. Bin Hammam was just one case, and not even the most prominent one. There’s a lot to investigate. For the new chairs of the ethics commission, 2013 will be the year to deliver or to prove nothing has really changed.
The [cycling governing body] started a process investigating Lance Armstrong and whether there was corruption in his donations. There should be a report in June.
The third issue will be match-fixing. What improvements will be made in this area?