News 11 May 2016

Sporting bodies to sign anti-corruption pledge at UK summit

Sporting bodies such as FIFA and UEFA, which are attending the UK government’s Anti-Corruption Summit in London tomorrow, will sign a statement pledging to fight corruption in sport, the government’s Anti-Corruption Champion Eric Pickles told The Guardian. The summit will also hear about what progress has been made by the Government Integrity Group for Sport (GIGS), which has been drawing up a mandatory governance code for sport, which is planned to be put out to consultation in September.

“We have set up a group, curiously called the GIGS group – the government integrity group for sport – drawing from across Whitehall and from the key agencies, such as the Gambling Commission and UK Anti-Doping”, said Baroness Neville-Rolfe during a debate in the House of Lords yesterday. “We will be putting the governance code out to consultation…I can confirm that corruption in sport will be on the summit’s agenda this week.”

The mandatory governance code is part of the Sporting Future strategy outlined by the government in December last year and will be mandatory for all sports bodies that want to receive public funding from 2017. It will be based on the Financial Reporting Council’s (FRC) Corporate Governance Code, and will be drawn up by UK Sport, Sport England and other home nation sports councils by September 2016. ‘This Governance Code will build on and strengthen existing commitments, including the requirement for all sports’ boards to have at least 25% female representation by 2017’, reads the strategy.

The summit will also consider whether legislation is needed to tackle corruption in sport, such as the criminalisation of doping – as has occurred in Italy and Germany. “We are looking at the whole area, including the question of criminal sanctions”, said Baroness Neville-Rolfe. Although criminal sanctions are not part of the Sporting Future strategy, a Department for Culture, Media and Sport (DCMS) spokesperson told the Sports Integrity Initiative in December that criminalisation of doping was on the agenda.

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