The Rio Games in a World of Global Sporting Corruption

Wounds have opened; recriminations are all around. The Rio Olympic Games, even before the first act, has already shown how it will be one of the more interesting ones for all the wrong reasons. (Eventually, such wrong reasons tend to seem right.)

A glaring feature of the latest ruckus lies in the administration (or maladministration) of international sport. Disagreement, for instance, about regulating doping regimes and taking action about them, is particularly fractious. Multiple deals, often of a trans-national nature, have been made over the years. The cover-up is very much in.

No notable international organisation has been sparred bungling on the issue, or succumbing to the temptations associated with the crooked path. Football’s world governing body FIFA remains mired in the rot, in search of the redemptive powers of reform. (The current head, Gianni Infantino, was implicated in the Panama Papers scandal, which revealed co-signed offshore deals with an indicted official made by Europe’s football governing body, UEFA.)

doping_OLThe athletics governing body IAAF has not proven itself an angel of cleanliness, having been put through the WADA wringer as well. Earlier this year, the IAAF former president Lamine Diack was found to have “sanctioned and appeared to have had personal knowledge of the fraud and extortion of athletes carried out by the actions of the illegitimate governance structure he put in place.” This suggests an enduring tension between…

Read more