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Reforming Global Sport: Hybridity and the Challenges of Pursuing Transparency


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In light of recent controversies in global sport, this article surveys the challenges of pursuing transparency in this particular domain of governance. Although corruption in sport is attracting more scholarly attention, there remains little sociolegal research that reflects critically on corporate governance in sport and its implications. This article outlines current calls for greater transparency in global sport and considers how capitalistic underpinnings and distinct hybrid arrangements complicate the task of transparency. It concludes by reflecting on how insights from studies of regulatory capitalism can inform alternative approaches to transparency and accountability in global sport.
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Reforming Global Sport: Hybridity and the
Challenges of Pursuing Transparency
In light of recent controversies in global sport, this article surveys the challenges
of pursuing transparency in this particular domain of governance. Although cor-
ruption in sport is attracting more scholarly attention, there remains little
sociolegal research that reflects critically on corporate governance in sport and its
implications. This article outlines current calls for greater transparency in global
sport and considers how capitalistic underpinnings and distinct hybrid arrange-
ments complicate the task of transparency. It concludes by reflecting on how
insights from studies of regulatory capitalism can inform alternative approaches
to transparency and accountability in global sport.
The May 2015 indictment of senior Fédération Internationale de Football
Association (FIFA) officials on forty-seven charges related to an alleged
bribery and kickback scheme involving 150 million US dollars seemed
to confirm long-standing suspicions of systemic corruption within the
organization. It also prompted global scrutiny of international football1
governance. Within two months following their arrest, the US Senate Sub-
committee on Consumer Protection, Product Safety, Insurance, and Data
Security held an inquiry, which focused on the integrity of the world govern-
ing body.2Subcommittee members acknowledged concerns that the growth
of commercial interests, such as gambling, had made an ill-equipped FIFA
into big business, prompting difficulties in its ability to self-regulate. They
nonetheless articulated a number of areas in need of reform: the full removal
This article draws on research supported by grants from the National Science Foundation
(Award #SES-0851536), International Olympic Committee, Research School of Asia and the
Pacific at the Australian National University, and World Anti-Doping Agency. John
Braithwaite, Valerie Braithwaite, Peter Grabosky, Fiona Haines, Natasha Tusikov, and Kyla
Tienhaara, two anonymous reviewers, and Nancy Reichman provided incredibly helpful com-
ments and suggestions.
Address correspondence to: Kathryn Henne, The Australian National University—
Regulatory Institutions Network, HC Coombs Extension Fellows Road, Acton, Australian
Capital Territory 2601 Australia. Telephone: +61 02 6125 1255; E-mail: kathryn.henne@anu.
LAW & POLICY, Vol. 37, No 4, October 2015 ISSN 0265–8240
© 2015 The Author
Law & Policy © 2015 The University of Denver/Colorado Seminary
doi: 10.1111/lapo.12044
and sanctioning of FIFA President Sepp Blatter, greater financial transpar-
ency, protocols for elections of executive members, leadership term limits,
revised World Cup bidding processes, and equitable compensation of pro-
fessional female athletes. The take-home message was that if international
football was a big business, it needed to take responsibility and implement
better and more transparent governance practices.
Global sport is indeed a big business. Estimates indicate that 2015
sports revenues are set to surpass 145 billion US dollars worldwide
(PricewaterhouseCoopers 2011). The FIFA scandal exemplifies the increased
awareness of corporate misconduct in sport. Allegations entail money laun-
dering; bribery; abusive employment practices; companies and governments
receiving preferential treatment in bidding for contracts related to sport
events; and match-fixing, which is the practice of predetermining the out-
comes of games, usually for financial gain. Some observers, including David
Howman, director general of the World Anti-Doping Agency (WADA), go
so far as to allege that organized crime controls over 25 percent of world
sport (Rumsby 2014). Calls for greater transparency in global sport gover-
nance thus appear timely and important.
Despite recognizing the difficulties in regulating a powerful global sport
organization such as FIFA, the presiding members of the US Senate Sub-
committee on Consumer Protection, Product Safety, Insurance, and Data
Security did not call for governments to intervene. Instead, they emphasized
the need for better regulation to come from within sport, instructing US
Soccer representatives to take a leadership role in those efforts. Prior to the
US Senate inquiry, Transparency International (2009, 2014) had made a
number of recommendations: antibribery codes, campaigns to raise aware-
ness of sport-related corruption, mandates for ethics education, the intro-
duction of anticorruption guidelines alongside clear, enforceable rules, and
“open, competitive bidding processes” for cities to host sport mega events.
There were other proposals that called for the establishment of specialized
integrity units to police unethical and illegal activities in sport.
This article surveys the challenges of pursuing transparency in global
sport, with the aim of illuminating how transnational governance arrange-
ments inform them. Although corruption in sport is attracting more schol-
arly attention (Maennig 2005), there remains little empirical work that
reflects critically on corporate governance in sport and its implications
(Levermore 2013). Following Roger Levermore (2013, 53), corporate gover-
nance is understood here as the “Western governance framework” applied to
organizations and industries in order to “set a balance between economic and
social goals” with “a level of accountability” that operates “within acceptable
legal obligations.” Although this article is a conceptual piece, it relies on
insight gleaned through eight years of ethnographic and archival research,
which I have discussed in more depth elsewhere (Henne 2010, 2015).3Like
other qualitative studies of sport governance, my research scrutinizes the
“often naturalized, idealized, and taken-for-granted allegiances between
© 2015 The Author
Law & Policy © 2015 The University of Denver/Colorado Seminary
sport, business, and politics and their consequences” (Numerato and Bagloni
2012, 608). This article contributes to that line of inquiry by asking whether
or not and how transparency agendas address these taken-for-granted alli-
ances in ways that can yield meaningful reform. In doing so, it offers a case
study that can aid in thinking through concerns of transparency in other
arenas of global governance where public–private partnerships flourish.
In this article, I examine how global sport maintains distinct, hybrid char-
acteristics that complicate the pursuit of transparency. By hybrid, I refer to
“synergies between binding and non-binding mechanisms,” which, enabled
by private–public partnerships, facilitate the terms and scope of global sport
governance (Trubek and Trubek 2005, 344). To do so, my analysis focuses
specifically on major international sport organizations, such as FIFA and the
International Olympic Committee (IOC), the Swiss nonprofit, nongovern-
mental organization that oversees the Olympic and Youth Olympic Games.
These organizations are not businesses per se; they are corporate actors that
can influence many arenas of social activity by leveraging private–public
The article proceeds by first describing the global features of contemporary
sport governance. Although previous analyses acknowledge the shared roles
of public and private actors, the implications of hybridity for reform agendas
receive less attention. I therefore directly address them here. The second
section of this article outlines five areas of sport that are core targets of
transparency agendas: concerns around match-fixing and money laundering,
the bidding process for sport mega events, the infrastructure contracts for
those events, human rights violations, and performance-enhancing drug use
among athletes. Reflecting on them collectively reveals how reform efforts,
although well intended, underestimate how their contextually specific and
hybrid dynamics pose distinct challenges for transparency agendas. That is,
calls for transparency often advocate for new rules and accountability mea-
sures without attending to the broader power relationships that facilitate and
enable corruption. Accordingly, this article offers a skeptical take on recom-
mendations that more rules, even those that require the disclosure of impor-
tant information, can fix the problems of contemporary sport. Instead, this
article suggests the need for further analysis of how such arrangements
facilitate the pursuit of private interests while foreclosing democratic partici-
pation by those directly affected by the pursuit of those interests. It concludes
with a reflection on how transparency might be better adapted to address the
contextual challenges of hybridity in order to effect at least some change in
global sport.
Global sport, as a transnational domain, is comprised of corporate, regula-
tory, state, and nonstate actors. According to Catherine Palmer (2013), global
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sport governance can be thought of on three levels—the supranational,
national, and subnational—all of which experience tension with each other at
different points of policymaking and practice. These levels capture webs of
relationships between actors that cut across nations, regions, and borders,
legal and otherwise in nature (Palmer 2013). We are therefore remiss to refer
to global sport as simply a space of globalized business. Rather, the rise of
the international sport industry is indicative of broader patterns of
corporatization observed across the globe (Braithwaite and Drahos 2000).
Historians, including Allen Guttmann (2002) and Barbara Keys (2006),
provide detailed explanations of how global sport changed throughout the
twentieth and twenty-first centuries. For example, the success of the Olympics
historically hinged upon the tacit acceptance that Olympic sport, on the basis
of its presumed purity, was distinct from professional sports leagues (Keys
2006). This foundation myth helped to galvanize support for the Olympic
Movement, eventually contributing to its embrace of professionalism during
the mid- to late-twentieth century (Ritchie 2014). Olympic sport, which once
championed amateurism as its cornerstone value, eventually came to reflect
what Peter Donnelly (1996, 246) refers to as “Prolympism,” that is, the
“merger of professional sport and corporate Olympic sport.” Their conjoined
characteristics, in turn, influence sport’s institutions and their governance;
however, they are not the only features for which to account.
According to sociologists David Andrews and George Ritzer (2007, 140),
three interconnected processes drive global sport institutions today:
“corporatization (the management and marketing of sporting entities
according to profit motives); spectacularization (the primacy of producing
entertainment-driven [mediated] experiences); and, commodification (the
generation of multiple sport-related revenue streams).” These developments
yield observable trends that have implications for governance: a shift from
local fans to growing media followership across national and global sites, the
increased investment in forms of entertainment that support sporting events,
and the rise of other sport-related industries. Although not all global sport
organizations leverage significant power, many of them rely on partnerships
with businesses and sponsors to support their sport-related efforts. Capital-
istic interests therefore still factor into the decision-making processes of
smaller sport organizations. For Jules Boykoff (2013), global sport is an
archetype of the dangers of unchecked neoliberalism. It embodies what he
calls celebration capitalism. Celebration capitalism, he argues, encompasses
the ability of global sport organizations, particularly FIFA and the IOC, to
coercively influence a variety of stakeholders so as to obtain public invest-
ment for mega events and private profit. In short, the benefits of mega events
go back to corporate investors, not citizens living in host cities. Celebration
capitalism thus offers one way to think through how global sport embodies
neoliberal values.
Accompanying historical and institutional changes across many sports are
a host of legal and regulatory arrangements that support the growth of global
© 2015 The Author
Law & Policy © 2015 The University of Denver/Colorado Seminary
sports revenues, a development that is symptomatic of regulatory capitalism.
Analyses of regulatory capitalism remind us that it is a misnomer to assume
that neoliberalism always promotes both deregulation and privatization: the
pursuit of capitalistic growth also gives rise to more—not less—rules, regu-
lation, and bureaucracy (Braithwaite 2008; Levi-Faur 2005; Jordana and
Levi-Faur 2004). The corporatization and legalization of global sport go
hand in hand. And, while global sport organizations may sometimes pursue
agendas reflective of celebration capitalism, further analysis of their behav-
iors as international actors reveals different kinds of regulatory activity.
Consider the IOC: it maintains partnerships with multinational businesses
as well as with various national and sport-specific organizations. This enables
it to influence sport-specific issues, such as performance-enhancing drug
regulation and mega events, as well as more conventionally cosmopolitan
endeavors, such as education and development. For instance, the IOC has
become an important actor in the Sport for Development and Peace Move-
ment, which advocates sport as a meaningful way to pursue all eight of the
United Nations’ (UN) Millennium Development Goals. This is, in part,
because of its resources and ability to leverage private partnerships in order
to galvanize support for UN projects. In fact, the IOC maintains a strong,
cooperative relationship with the United Nations more generally, having
contributed to UN-backed public health campaigns and received UN Special
Observer status in 2009 (IOC 2014a). In essence, the IOC is more than an
affluent private organization concerned with corporate profits; it contributes
directly to global governance and transnational legal ordering.
Transnational legal orders, write Terence Halliday and Gregory Shaffer
(2015, 5, emphasis in original), are a “collection of formalized legal norms and
associated organizations and actors that authoritatively order the understand-
ing and practice of law across national jurisdictions.” Such orders, like global
sport, have taken shape against the backdrop of globalization, and nonlegal
actors (such as global sport organizations) can have significant influence in
their development. As amalgamations of private and public actors and inter-
ests, transnational legal orders in global sport governance bring together
(and often blur) hard and soft law—that is, binding and nonbinding
mechanisms—to coerce social change (Trubek and Trubek 2005). Such
arrangements challenge the scope assumed of both law and sport by eroding
conventional understandings that jurisdiction is based primarily on hard, or
public, law—an observation that should carry over into how we think about
pursuing transparency in this context.
While it is important to note that global sports policy and governance is a
broad and pluralistic field (Palmer 2013), it is equally important to acknowl-
edge that global sport’s hybrid characteristics retain a number of features
that render it susceptible to abuses of power. The IOC and FIFA enjoy
nongovernmental, nonprofit statuses, even though they have sizeable revenue
streams from their business operations. They also exercise considerable levels
of political influence across countries and sport organizations in addition to
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their ability to appeal to global publics through mediated spectacles of sport.
Despite the high visibility of global sport spectacles, the actors and relation-
ships supporting them are rarely discernible in popular discourse. The preva-
lence of public-private partnerships often facilitates interactions between
elites in ways that protect them from public scrutiny. Thus, unearthing the
extent of an international sport organization’s influence can itself be
understood as an act of transparency: that is, highlighting its impact can
illuminate overlooked dimensions of broader transnational governance
relationships. As the next section illustrates, calls for transparency, by
drawing attention to a wide range of practices in need of reform, enable
public scrutiny of global sport’s influence in spaces of governance tradition-
ally assumed to be the responsibility of the state operating in the interests of
its citizens.
Scholars and journalists who have documented instances of corruption in
sport often attribute their causes to unbridled capitalistic pursuits and abuses
of political power (e.g., Lenskyj 2008; Jennings 2006; Barney, Wenn, and
Martyn 2002; Simson and Jennings 1992). Calls for transparency in global
sport similarly focus on the appropriation of resources by governing sport
organizations, concentrating on how corporate arrangements prioritize
private profits to the detriment of the public good (Transparency Interna-
tional 2015). The IOC and FIFA are the primary targets of such criticism, as
they reap the benefits of multibillion dollar sports revenues. FIFA alone
made an estimated 4.5 billion US dollars from the 2014 World Cup in Brazil,
a notable sum especially given that it already maintains a 1.4 billion dollar
reserve and distributed only 400 million US dollars of its profit to the thirty-
two national federations who participated in the tournament (Boykoff and
Tomlinson 2014; Dunbar 2014). In addition, as a condition of hosting the
World Cup, the Brazilian government granted FIFA and its corporate part-
ners tax-exempt statuses during the event, which cost the country an esti-
mated 248.7 million US dollars (Erb 2014). As part of a broader international
push for greater integrity in sport, transparency promises to unveil the ineq-
uitable distribution of resources. Nevertheless, do the capitalistic underpin-
nings of global sport prevent the prospect of more radical change?
Transparency International (2014) qualifies the goals of transparency,
arguing that it is necessary for counteracting the multiple forms of corruption
that threaten to tarnish sporting brands and the “positive influence sport has
in spreading the values of good sportsmanship and integrity, especially for
young people.” This line of argument presumes there is an inherent virtue of
sport, something other campaigns aimed at preserving the integrity of
sport—perhaps mostly notably the movement against doping in sport—have
championed in the name of justifying greater regulation (Henne 2010).
© 2015 The Author
Law & Policy © 2015 The University of Denver/Colorado Seminary
Many sport reformers suggest that match-fixing has overtaken doping in
sport as the primary threat to integrity of sport and call for enhanced anti-
corruption agendas.4A report published by the IOC and UN Office of Drugs
and Crime (2013, 1) states, “The phenomenon of match-fixing brings to the
surface its links to other criminal activities such as corruption, organized
crime and money-laundering.” Investigative journalist Declan Hill (2008)
concurs that organized crime and sport make for a natural marriage, which
others say is evidenced by the diversity of criminal actors—from the Italian
mafia to Asian organized crime groups—influencing professional sport
(Cayli 2013).
While research on organized criminal involvement in sport tends to focus
on betting scandals, Transparency International (2009) warns not to lose
sight of practices used to launder money, such as the buying and selling of
sports clubs, player contracts, and sponsorship deals. As a result, both
match-fixing and money laundering are popular foci in transparency
measures. To counteract them, Transparency International (2009) encour-
ages the adoption of instruments like its Business Principles for Countering
Bribery, which provide best practices recommendations and guidelines that
advocate a more holistic antibribery framework for businesses. The organi-
zation has since outlined additional recommendations for clear and binding
codes of ethics for executive officers, open and competitive elections for
board membership, term limits, and the introduction of external directors
who have the ability to provide oversight (Transparency International
2014, 2015). Its recommendations reflect a tacit acceptance of transparency
as accountability-by-audit: that is, the production of rules and documenta-
tion in the pursuit of transparency are necessary administrative processes to
“make things auditable” (Power 1999, 68). Accordingly, its pursuit of better
governance practices relies upon the creation of transparency-making docu-
ments (Mathur 2012).
Subsequently, SportAccord (2012), the umbrella organization for Olympic
and non-Olympic sport federations across the globe, has developed a similar
approach, providing a detailed integrity report as a guide for identifying and
counteracting match-fixing and other fraudulent activities in sport. It sug-
gests a five-prong approach: the introduction of additional sport-specific
rules, betting regulations, organizational safeguards, prevention and educa-
tion measures, and mechanisms for monitoring suspicious activities such as
intelligence gathering and independent investigations (SportAccord 2012).
European ministers have endorsed similar tactics, as the Council of Europe
recently adopted the Convention on the Manipulation of Sports Competi-
tions, which commits signatories to efforts that aim to “prevent, detect,
punish and discipline the manipulation of sports competitions, as well as
enhance the exchange of information and national and international coop-
eration between the public authorities concerned, and with sports
organisations and sports betting operators” (Play the Game 2014). While it is
too early to evaluate the effectiveness of these measures, they evidence a
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growing emphasis on preserving the integrity of sport through formal mecha-
nisms of corporate policing and surveillance.
Beyond doping and match-fixing, other transparency initiatives target
private and public actors that participate in global sport, often with an eye
toward pursuing corporate accountability on the one hand and promoting
government responsibility on the other. Although a popular tactic, transpar-
ency alone cannot remedy the growing concerns beyond match-fixing and
money laundering. I outline three pressing areas in sport, illustrating how
transparency-as-audit offers little in terms of positive change: reforming the
bidding processes for mega events, addressing human rights concerns within
host cities, and deterring doping in sport. In the pages that follow, I address
the contextual features that reforms both consider and fail to address,
acknowledging the limitations of transparency measures purposed in relation
to each. Taken together, they point to the challenges of attending to the
hybrid and capitalist relationships underpinning contemporary global sport.
The bidding process for sport mega events and contracts associated with their
awarding are key targets for transparency reforms. As large-scale projects,
mega events offer a number of opportunities for stakeholders to take a cut or
negotiate contractual terms in their favor. This makes them particularly
prone to corruption. The fact the negotiation processes are secretive
execrates the problem.
The 2014 Sochi Olympics provides a recent illustration. Even prior to the
event, critics, among them Transparency International, described Russia’s
construction industry as the most corrupt in the world due to endemic
bribery, rigged bidding practices, and overcharging for services and materials
(Surowiecki 2014). When the cost of the Sochi Olympic Games ballooned
from the pledged 12 billion US dollars to over 50 billion US dollars, many
observers attributed the reasons to existing forms of corruption and Vladimir
Putin’s desire to express a strong Russian nationalism on a global stage.
Allegations of cronyism surfaced, as some of Putin’s close associates had
secured significant contracts. Among them were Vladimir Yakunin who
heads Russian Railways (RZhD), the company tasked with building new
roads and railways connecting the sites for events (Yaffa 2014), and Arkady
Rotenberg, whose companies received twenty-one contracts totaling at least
227 billion rubles (7.4 billion US dollars), a sum that exceeded the entire
budget for the 2010 Winter Olympics held in Vancouver (Arkhipov and
Meyer 2013).
Even though there are seemingly evident instances of corruption, efforts to
disclose the inner workings of sport-related agreements have yielded signifi-
cant pushback. Members of FIFA, for instance, debated whether or not to
disclose a 430-page investigative report into corruption and collusion allega-
tions linked to the 2018 and 2022 World Cup bidding processes, ultimately
© 2015 The Author
Law & Policy © 2015 The University of Denver/Colorado Seminary
deciding to only publish a shorter legally appropriate version. FIFA’s actions
fall well short of interest groups’ calls for the introduction of “bidding
integrity pacts” and “citizen-monitoring mechanisms” that target the host
cities’ bids and construction contracts (Transparency International 2009). In
addition, Transparency International has proposed whistleblower protec-
tions following the assassination of Jimmy Mohlala, who told officials about
alleged corruption linked to the building of the Mbombela stadium for the
2010 World Cup in South Africa (Alvad 2009). Mohlala was one of nine local
officials in the area to die under suspicious circumstances within a two-year
period (Smith 2010). While the particular example suggests that sport-related
corruption maps onto existing political conditions, transparency recommen-
dations provide little recourse for them. Instead, they promote increased
surveillance and procedural regularity aimed at corporate actors, practices
that powerful actors can elude and even leverage to their advantage.
Mega events, many researchers acknowledge, are often brokered under the
guise of delivering economic development (e.g., Fussey et al. 2012; Horne
and Manzenreiter 2006; Matheson and Baade 2004). Such outcomes are
dubious at best and carry long-term effects (Lenskyj 2008; Burbank,
Andranovich, and Heying 2001). Urban planning scholars argue that the
awarding of sport mega events enables a broader “reconfiguration of power
structures at the local and national levels” by imposing “a new neo-liberal
order marked by authoritarianism and exceptionalism” (Sánchez and
Broudehoux 2013, 135). In other words, private–public partnerships facili-
tate and enable new forms of urban governance in host cities. Their critique
points to how global sport organizations and other private interests partner
with local and national governments to develop and change regulations in
ways that benefit a small elite, not the general public.
During the 2014 World Cup in Brazil, amid increased government spend-
ing on sport-related infrastructure and security, local residents endured hikes
in public transportation fees. The increased costs and changes to urban
landscapes were the outgrowth of strategic planning, a practice enabled by
public–private partnerships (Sánchez and Broudehoux 2013). Strategic plan-
ning creates consensus through the selective participation of stakeholders
and the promotion of private-sector management, pushing many affected
parties and members of the public out of the negotiation process. This
approach employed varying tactics in each host city. In Rio de Janeiro,
strategic planning worked on “improving the city’s image, repackaging its
assets, and marketing its competitive advantages in order to attract foreign
investors, tax-paying residents, wealthy tourists, and professionals” (ibid.,
134). In doing so, the World Cup—like other mega events—contributed to
refiguring urban development and governance practices through the adop-
tion of market-oriented, managerial approaches negotiated by political and
economic elites (Sánchez and Broudehoux 2013). It is perhaps not surprising
then that protests erupted in the lead up to and during the 2014 World Cup,
even though FIFA had already paid the Brazilian government 100 million
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US dollars for earlier protests, an amount similar to what it had given the
South African government after the 2010 World Cup. Transparency reforms
may have made some of these processes more visible, but they do not
offer tools to counteract broader inequalities sutured through pacts among
Transparency reforms targeting global sport organizations also offer little
in terms of responding to many state-sanctioned tools of governance. Legal
changes made during a mega event can last for years, if not indefinitely. For
example, in preparation for the Olympic Games in Beijing, the Chinese
government expanded its surveillance camera systems in more than 600 cities,
recruited over 600,000 volunteers to serve as surveillance assistants, estab-
lished security collaborations with multiple global technology companies,
and empowered special military units and an International Police Liaison
Department to coordinate with outside authorities (Boykoff 2013). Costing
an estimated 2 billion US dollars,5the resulting security apparatus took aim
at a range of security threats, including suspected terrorists and political
dissidents. Even though officials formally ended the Olympic surveillance
programs, many of the systems established for the Beijing Games remain in
place. As Human Rights Watch reports, the infrastructure justified by the
Olympics has become centralized, enabling the Chinese security apparatus to
expand in institutionalized form.6In a different vein, stadiums built for the
2010 and 2014 World Cups in South Africa and Brazil remain underused and
in some cases abandoned, despite promises that they would be sustainable
investments through multipurpose use. The Olympic facilities built for the
2004 Summer Olympic Games are also in disrepair, even though local resi-
dents still use some of the facilities (see Figures 1 and 2). The effects of mega
events become embedded in the landscapes of the host countries, lingering
well beyond the sporting events.
Concerns around mega events are not limited to the distribution of financial
benefits. While the infrastructure costs associated with the 2022 FIFA World
Cup in Qatar are expected to surpass 200 billion US dollars (Fattah and
Tuttle 2014), the human costs are perhaps more disconcerting. Reports indi-
cate that male migrant workers, who make up an astounding 94 percent of
Qatar’s work force, die at alarmingly high rates. Observers attribute many of
these deaths to exhaustion from working in conditions akin to slavery,
including extensive working hours, poor housing, and restricted mobility due
to the kafala system (Australian Broadcasting Corporation 2014; Human
Rights Watch 2012). The kafala system requires migrant workers to have
in-country sponsors responsible for their visas. This has led to widespread
exploitation, including employers holding workers’ passports so that they
cannot move freely or leave the country. Estimates go so far as to predict that
nearly 4,000 workers could die before 2022, all to support infrastructure
© 2015 The Author
Law & Policy © 2015 The University of Denver/Colorado Seminary
projects for the FIFA World Cup (International Trade Union Confederation
2014). Although Qatar has since announced reforms to labor laws recom-
mended by the international law firm DLA Piper, a number of organizations,
including Amnesty International and Human Rights Watch, remain critical.
The ongoing worry, according to Rima Kalush of Migrant-Rights, is “that
Qatar will follow Bahrain’s footsteps in renaming the sponsorship system
without actually abolishing the majority of the exploitative laws and prac-
tices that encompass the system” (Black, Gibson, and Booth 2014). Fears
abound that legal reforms are merely symbolic gestures employed to evade
additional scrutiny in the lead up to the World Cup.
During the 2014 Winter Olympic Games in Sochi, many Western
onlookers and domestic activists condemned the Russian government’s gay
propaganda laws, which criminalized images normalizing homosexual rela-
tionships. Despite significant attention paid to the repressive actions of the
Russian state, few critics acknowledged the IOC’s complicit role in silenc-
ing protest (e.g., Hayes 2014). They failed to recognize that the IOC main-
tains conduct rules for Olympic athletes, which limit their political and
religious expression. Specifically, Rule 50 of the Olympic Charter forbids
any “kind of demonstration or political, religious or racial propaganda”
and limits athlete protest in accordance with the IOC’s longstanding stance
Figure 1. Entrance and Information Booth at the Site of the 2004 Summer
Olympic Games, Athens, Greece (July 17, 2015, Image by Author).
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that Olympic sport should be distinct from politics (IOC 2013, 93).
However, histories of the Olympics document the IOC’s active suppression
of dissent and support of discriminatory agendas under the guise that sport
is to be apolitical (Hartmann 2003). For example, when Avery Brundage
was IOC president, he took measures to have US track athletes John
Carlos and Tommie Smith expelled from the 1968 Olympic Games after
they stood shoeless with raised black-gloved fists during the medal cer-
emony as a form of protest against racial oppression. During that same
time, Brundage had extended invitations to white-only Olympic teams from
South Africa and Rhodesia throughout the 1960s despite protests about
racial discrimination. Today, the Olympic Charter bans discrimination, but
it still maintains strict rules around athlete conduct, including in relation to
protest. Although IOC representatives have qualified the application of
Rule 50, stating that athletes can speak openly in nonaccredited areas and
press conferences, the rule, though not a clear instance of misconduct,
reveals another case of strategic management—in this case, one aimed at
preventing athletes from disrupting the business of global sport by curtail-
ing their right to expression.
In addition to regulating athletes’ behavior, the IOC supported the use of
protest zones at the Sochi and Beijing Olympics, most of which were far from
Figure 2. Current State of the Once Water-filled Oaka Plaza at the Site of the 2004
Summer Olympic Games, Athens, Greece (July 17, 2015, Image by Author).
© 2015 The Author
Law & Policy © 2015 The University of Denver/Colorado Seminary
the sites of the actual sporting events. Protest zones served as designated
areas where, according to IOC President Thomas Bach, “everybody can
express his or her free opinion” (cited in Hayes 2014). In essence, the IOC
confined dissent to these zones, leaving protesters outside of those areas
vulnerable to police repression and punishment for noncompliance. IOC
representatives framed protest zones as a way to protect free speech in a safe
and controlled manner. Critics, such as Graeme Hayes (2014), provide a
cautious reminder that the IOC has long prioritized “a sanitized spectacle of
organizational efficiency” over human rights. Hayes (ibid.) warns of embrac-
ing the IOC’s solutions to control protest, stating that they undermine indi-
vidual freedoms in favor of protecting consumption: “we should not just be
thinking about free speech, but about the conditions in which these freedoms
are offered and about who is excluded from these freedoms.” His observa-
tions bring into stark relief how capitalistic interests undergirding global
sport can encourage the censorship of individuals who threaten to tarnish the
Olympic brand—and who are not the primary financial beneficiaries of sport-
related events.
The extensive spending required to host mega events has prompted con-
cerns that few democracies—unwilling to invest the necessary resources
without public support—will bid for sport mega events, leaving authoritarian
regimes to host them. After Oslo, Stockholm, Lviv, and Krakow all withdrew
their bids to host the 2022 Winter Olympics, fears surfaced that not only
would the IOC have to choose between two candidates with poor human
rights records, Almaty (Kazakhstan) and Beijing (People’s Republic of
China), but also that this problem would become an ongoing trend. Thus,
beginning with the 2024 Summer Olympics, human rights protections are a
condition of host city contracts under the IOC’s recently endorsed strategic
plan, Olympic Agenda 2020 (Human Rights Watch 2014; IOC 2014b). This
condition, however, does not guarantee the nomination of desirable host
cities for the games. The exorbitant costs associated with mega events are a
key reason for cities backing out, as are the IOC’s perceived overindulgence
and lack of transparency—especially now that the IOC keeps 68 percent of
sponsorship and television revenues from events (Abend 2014).7
These concerns, taken together, point to the limitations of focusing on
human rights as a way of holding states accountable to their citizens; private
entities, including the IOC and FIFA, play important, although often over-
looked, roles in securing (or failing to secure) human rights protections.
Advocates for reform acknowledge these and other deeper issues of inequal-
ity impact sport-related problems, which crystallize around securitization of
public spaces and the misappropriation of public funds in relation to mega
events, not simply discriminatory acts against groups of individual citizens.
These seemingly distinct issues emerge as interrelated when considered across
a number of host cities in recent years. The growth in private investment into
mega event preparations has coincided with the forced relocation of local
residents and considerable spending on security in cities as diverse as Beijing,
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Vancouver, London, Rio de Janeiro, and Sochi (Boykoff 2013). For example,
in addition to the costs associated with infrastructure and relocating resi-
dents, the securitization spurred by the 2014 World Cup in Brazil alone
reportedly cost over 850 million US dollars. The price of security for the 2016
Olympic Games in Rio de Janeiro is expected to exceed 1 billion dollars
(Arnold 2014; Fussey et al. 2012). While this trend is often attributed to the
post-9/11 awareness of potential terrorist threats, security tactics often target
disgruntled residents who bear the brunt of the changes driven by mega
events (Sánchez and Broudehoux 2013). Moreover, security expenditure
reflects a greater interest in cities appearing safe for the investments of
international visitors, global sponsors, and distant audiences spectating
through mediated forms than in actually providing safety for local residents
(Eisenhauer, Adair, and Taylor 2013). Human rights are therefore inextrica-
bly linked to other concerns related to mega events, the connections between
which surpass the scope of proposed accountability mechanisms to date.
A select few UN representatives have expressed concerns regarding the
influence of mega events on local communities. Two different UN special
rapporteurs on the right to adequate housing, Miloon Kothari and Raquel
Rolnik, have spoken out about the devastating effects the Olympic Games
had on low-income housing in Vancouver (Boykoff 2013). Beyond those
actions, the United Nations has done little to address, or even acknowledge,
the IOC’s contributing role in undermining human rights claims. Instead, it
has opted to place blame on national actors. In contrast to its treatment of
transgressing states, the United Naitons has made a number of legal gestures
that reinforce the ideal that Olympic sport is a social good to the interna-
tional community without drawing attention to the IOC’s problematic
history or the influence of its corporate interests. The United Nations for-
mally endorsed the Olympic Truce, a time intended to be an observance of
international peace, during the 2012 Olympic Games in London, even as
commentators cited those games as the most militarized to date (Fussey et al.
2012), and failed to implicate the IOC in the human rights violations identi-
fied during the Sochi Games (Hayes 2014). While the United Nations
emerges as an advocate of human rights in other domains, it remains rela-
tively silent in relation to the IOC or other sport organizations’ complicit
roles in practices that have contributed to human rights violations.
While transparency agendas are not yet well established in relation to match-
fixing, money laundering, host city and infrastructure contracts bidding, or
human rights in sport, they are in the case of antidoping regulation. Leaders
suggest that the global antidoping arrangements offer a useful model for
anticorruption efforts in sport, with some proponents, including WADA
Director General Howman, calling for a global anticorruption agency for
sport, a World Sports Integrity Agency (Harris 2011).8Antidoping regulation
© 2015 The Author
Law & Policy © 2015 The University of Denver/Colorado Seminary
offers a foreboding example of reforming sport, however. Despite making
thousands of athletes’ bodies more transparent by subjecting them to inva-
sive forms of surveillance, critics have convincingly argued that antidoping
regulation is not as effective as it portends (e.g., Rohan 2013). In other words,
more transparency does not necessarily deliver on its stated outcomes of
better governance or effective reforms.
While this analysis does not advance Howman’s recommendation, it does
acknowledge WADA’s distinct hybridity as reflective of the broader gover-
nance arrangements in global sport. The IOC was instrumental in establish-
ing WADA, the agency that spearheads a global regime comprised of sport
(e.g., international sport federations, national Olympic committees) and
nonsport (e.g., government, law enforcement, scientific laboratories) actors,
in 1999.9WADA’s aim is to prevent, deter, and adjudicate drug-related
offenses in sport (WADA 2015). Proponents justified WADA’s mission to
counter performance-enhancing drugs as necessary to protect athletes’ health
and fair play in sport, and embraced tactics of mass surveillance and bodily
intrusion to test athletes for thousands of banned substances, including many
recreational drugs without evident performance-enhancing effects.10 Today,
formal surveillance, such as random drug testing in and out of competition,
monitoring athletes’ daily whereabouts, and blood profiling, is common
practice in elite sports, and is increasingly used in lower-level competitions
and even in some recreational contexts (Henne 2015; Henning 2013).
By rendering athletes’ actions and ethics visible through surveillance,
testing, and sanctions, the regime has fostered a culture of suspicion in the
name of safeguarding ethics (Sefiha and Reichman 2014; Henne and
Troshynski 2013). Others highlight that reforms developed to enhance
antidoping regulation have actually made doping more dangerous, because
they incentivize the development of more potent substances that the body can
absorb and discharge more quickly so as to avoid detection (Beamish and
Ritchie 2006). Researchers have also questioned the regime’s effectiveness:
approximately 2 percent of samples yield positive tests, but recent survey
findings (which WADA initially withheld from publication) indicate much
higher rates of doping (29–45 percent), at least among track-and-field ath-
letes (Rohan 2013). The embrace of technocratic rules and testing is thus
perhaps better understood as a ritual of comfort: it creates the appearance of
checks being in place to prevent the undesired behavior but does not neces-
sarily deliver on that promise (Power 1999). In sum, WADA’s rules have
done little to shift the markets for drugs, thereby undermining its regulatory
aims to protect the health of athletes. In fact, if anything, they have increased
risks for athletes (Henne 2015).
More importantly, as Nancy Reichman and Ophir Sefiha (2014, 116)
contend, antidoping regulation, by “framing individuals as cheats and
holding individuals accountable obscures the organizational dimensions of
performance enhancement.” It also fails to shed light on the public–private
partnerships at work—and their interests—in maintaining the current system
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of regulation (Henne 2015). The IOC continues to fund 50 percent of the
agency’s budget and provides incentives (as well as sanctions) for sport-
specific and government actors to support its regulation. Governed by the
World Anti-Doping Code and legally backed by the United Nations Educa-
tional, Scientific, and Cultural Organization (UNESCO) International Con-
vention against Doping in Sport, the regime develops requirements and
procedures to ensure that government signatories pass legislation that sup-
ports WADA’s mission. The speedy ratification of the UNESCO Convention
against Doping in Sport offers a clear instance in which the IOC influenced
the legalization of a largely private regulatory regime (Henne 2010). Only
forty-one countries had ratified the convention when it came into force in
2007. In response, WADA added IOC-backed clauses to the World Anti-
Doping Code that prevented nonsignatory countries from enjoying certain
benefits such as hosting mega events and receiving sport-specific forms of
funding. The number of state parties to the convention has since surpassed
Hybrid arrangements have codified the intrusive tactics to which athletes
across national jurisdictions and sports are subject. Many of them supersede
indoctrinated legal commitments to privacy, bodily integrity, and procedural
justice (Henne 2010). In addition, corporate partners, such as technology
firms and pharmaceutical companies, including F. Hoffman LaRoche, Ltd.
and GlaxoSmithKline, facilitate the expansion of testing and surveillance
though research and development. As a result, the companies that profit
from making drugs also benefit from developing tests to detect them.
Antidoping regulation offers pharmaceutical companies an emergent market
to develop testing technologies (which can be sold for use in fields beyond
sport), enabling them to find new outlets as their profits have shown signs of
slowing (Dukes, Braithwaite, and Moloney 2014). Instead of focusing on the
business pursuits informing antidoping surveillance, the nature of regulatory
capitalism in this context maintains an explicit focus on athletes’ bodies. As
failure by athletes to comply with complex regulatory requirements can result
in multiyear bans from sport, public scrutiny tends to reflect the regulatory
gaze targeted at athletes, not the broader structures overseeing athletes
(Henne 2015; Park 2005). Many discussions of integrity in sport, in turn,
also focus narrowly on individuals—and comparatively disempowered
individuals—instead of structural conditions or overseeing authorities.
Antidoping regulation can thus be understood as a cautionary tale of pur-
suing transparency through technocratic rules and individualized policing.
The aforementioned examples attest that evocation of transparency does not
necessarily guarantee the reform of governance practices. In this case, global
sport institutions and the partnerships that fortify them are difficult to
© 2015 The Author
Law & Policy © 2015 The University of Denver/Colorado Seminary
infiltrate, often preventing full disclosure. Accountability mechanisms
employed under the umbrella of pursuing transparency can instrumentalize
solutions, amounting to symbolic gestures rather than meaningful reforms.
More insidiously, transparency instruments, when framed as solutions, can
actually hinder the pursuit of reforms that attend to the deeper institutional
relationships that foster corruption and perpetuate inequality. For instance,
efforts aimed at drawing attention to the problem of gambling in sport have
failed to counteract the practice, instead making it more visible to those who
cannot afford a gambling addiction. Despite public service announcement
campaigns, Australians lost a record-high 20.5 billion Australian dollars
through gambling between 2011 and 2012, a statistic that does not account
for overseas websites (Queensland Treasury and Trade 2014).
To get a better sense of how transparency instruments can have a limited
impact on global sport governance, let us consider transnational relation-
ships that pose particularly pernicious challenges for the pursuit of openness,
using the IOC as an example. The IOC’s influence surpasses the mega events
and activities of the Olympic Movement, as it partners with other interna-
tional governing bodies, including the United Nations. Returning to the
example of the UN-sponsored Sport for Development and Peace Movement,
the IOC is a key stakeholder among the many different actors that contribute
to sport-for-development efforts, including sport and nongovernmental
organizations, national governments, private companies, and even the armed
forces. The IOC has established Olympic Youth Development Centers in
Zambia and Haiti, with the endorsement of the UN Office on Sport for
Development and Peace and in collaboration with governmental and private
stakeholders. The centers have well-equipped sports, medical, and educa-
tional facilities. Although the infusion of private donor funds into develop-
ment programming may support projects, skeptical observers working in
development note that their contributions often end when sport mega events
move on to other parts of the world.11 The failure of some well-established
sport-for-development projects in South Africa after the 2010 FIFA World
Cup serves as a case in point.
The relationships between sport and development at the global level reveal
other capitalist influences. The UN special adviser on sport for development
and peace, currently Wilfried Lemke, has a background in professional foot-
ball, not development, which has prompted questions about what interests
would shape the international sport-for-development agenda, especially as
development is already a space where public–private partnerships are influ-
ential and reinforce asymmetrical power relations (Turshen 2014). Empirical
research supports this concern, indicating that multinational corporations
provide notable levels of funding for sport-for-development programs as part
of their corporate social responsibility portfolios, which has impacted the
nature and messages of programming targeting aid recipients (Mayhurst
2011). Thus, even in altruistic endeavors, such as development, sport’s capi-
talist underpinnings prevail. Moreover, by contributing, organizations like
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the IOC can solidify public–private partnerships, enabling it to better lever-
age them to its advantage in other spaces, including in relation to hosting the
Olympic Games.
It would be a mistake to say that the IOC has made no attempt at improv-
ing the outcomes of mega events. To date, any such efforts are, however,
limited in scope and lack a well-conceived governance framework, in part
because they prioritize business bottom lines (Girginov 2011). One recently
introduced requirement for hosting the Olympic Games is the delivery of
legacy projects. Most prominently championed as a cornerstone of the 2012
London Olympics, legacy projects are to deliver long-term economic, sport-
ing, social, and regeneration benefits. Leaders promote such contributions
as foundational Olympic values of reciprocity and community building
(Tomlinson 2014). They also characterize legacy projects as tools to ensure
that host cities deliver outcomes that reflect Olympic values, rendering
them a distinct regulatory technology that reinforces the perception of
While the jury is still out regarding the positive influence of legacy projects
and Olympic Agenda 2020, John MacAloon (2008, 2060), a noted historian
and ethnographer of the Olympics, advises that the Olympic Movement’s
long-standing legacy discourse evokes a “common and laudable purpose”
while “reinforcing the IOC administration’s preferred model of franchiser/
franchisee relations with other Olympic bodies” and “furthering the trans-
national managerial revolution in Olympic affairs.” Thus, it is perhaps not
surprising that the IOC endorsed the yearlong consultation process that
yielded Olympic Agenda 2020 in light of mounting criticisms of the Olympic
Movement. While the agenda commits the IOC’s support to a number of
reforms in relation to sustainability, match-fixing, and antidiscrimination, it
also includes recommendations to strengthen the UN-recognized autonomy
of Olympic sport globally and to create an Olympic Channel that promotes
its brand and values. Furthermore, Olympic Agenda 2020 only offers a
limited intervention in the IOC’s governance structures by suggesting more
independence for its existing internal Ethics Commission (IOC 2014b). Such
projects do not break from the “Prolympism” framework.
Legacy projects are imbued with “the rationalization and lure of celebra-
tion capitalism,” perpetuating an aspirational sense of hope that has yet to
materially benefit those who occupy host cities (Boykoff 2013, 5). They, like
other regulatory tools discussed in this article, may express good intentions in
their aim to hold host governments to account, but they also reveal strategic
transparency on the part of the IOC. These selectively targeted attempts at
transparency may offer the IOC some brand protection, but they do not
change the fact that even though sport mega events require significant invest-
ments by countries, a relatively small group of elites decides the key terms of
their governance. These elites are well positioned to enjoy most of the benefits
associated with global sport, and they are key to expanding its reach.
The recent FIFA scandal illustrates the consequences of allowing these
© 2015 The Author
Law & Policy © 2015 The University of Denver/Colorado Seminary
relationships to go unchecked. Given their influence, the challenges for trans-
parency are not simply to hold these actors to account but to find ways to
gain their support and leverage their positions of influence in order to appeal
for disclosure and openness.
The calls for reform addressed in this article bring to light the role of public–
private partnerships in global sport governance as well as the need to con-
sider their far-reaching effects. Specific issues addressed here include, but are
not limited to, corruption and human rights abuses, rigged bidding practices,
unfair laws imposed on local communities, elements of criminal networks,
doping, and closed decision-making processes that benefit economic and
political elites. In short, these examples highlight that global sport affects a
number of citizens—well beyond sport participants and fans. A challenge
for transparency, then, is how it might better account for those who are
unwittingly affected by global sport. This points to a bigger problem:
transparency-by-audit cannot overcome the power dynamics of sport,
because they are situated within and buttressed by hybrid arrangements. This
is particularly problematic when powerful actors, such as the IOC and FIFA,
are charged with the task of self-disclosure. Accounting for power means that
transparency is only partial in nature, a form of admission that is often
strategically limited.
Making public–private relationships visible and open to scrutiny is an
important, albeit challenging, task for transparency advocates. Of particular
concern is how political and economic elites are able to leverage such part-
nerships across domains within and beyond sport, often doing so in ways that
are largely unchecked and invisible to public onlookers. Considering them
against the backdrop of transnational hybridity reveals that it is not simply
individual state, corporate, or sport actors that enable acts of corruption or
exploitation, but the entanglements between them. While specific strategies
for transparency may vary, the more pressing concern is that they be adapted
in order to pursue transparency’s deeper reform agenda, which may not
privilege the audit cultures that have come to characterize bureaucratic exer-
cises of transparency. Transparency in principle calls for openness and a
separation of powers that enables different institutions to check and balance
abuses of power. In practice, at least within the context of global sport, it
means that the public–private partnerships pose challenges for reform. As
governmental and corporate actors stand to benefit from the global sport
industry, neither emerges as the clear arbitrator of transparency in this
domain. Even as the IOC advocates holding various threats to sport’s integ-
rity accountable, it also attempts to evade such scrutiny. Given the strong
capitalist influences in global sport, we might look to earlier scholarship on
regulatory capitalism by asking: How could market institutions be steered to
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aid in the work of transparency in global sport instead of contributing to its
Some examples within sport already exist. Global media and gambling
interests have had corruptive influences on sport, but they have also contrib-
uted to making refereeing and umpiring errors more transparent. Together,
they have made visible the patterns of refereeing corruption, because gam-
bling multinationals have a vested interest in the integrity of officiating. In
the racing industry, where gambling interests are also evident, controls on
race-fixing and doping emerged in part because there were demands to
protect racing as a brand that attracted spectators and gamblers alike.
Further, Mark Davis, the director of Betfair, an Internet betting exchange,
was a vocal advocate for stronger responses to corruption. Corporate power
can be corruptive, but it can also be wielded to serve certain productive
interests of transparency, even if only in a limited capacity.
Likewise, the spectacularization of global sport through media outlets has
fueled its growth and contributed to making it financially enticing for those
with corruptive interests. However, it also offers mediated accountability to
the general public. Take the fall of big tobacco as an example. To make
transparent the misleading nature of corporate advertising that associated
tobacco with healthy bodies, nongovernmental organizations and public
health groups were able to mobilize effective media campaigns. Eventually,
major sporting venues across much of the globe would ban smoking, with
high levels of compliance and largely without the aid of policing. At a critical
juncture, weaker actors enrolled big media (and sport) in the much larger and
longer project of defeating big tobacco. When the dangers associated with
abuses of power can be made visible by those less powerful, there are oppor-
tunities for corrective forms of transparency to counteract such abuses. In an
odd twist, powerful actors can become allies. This observation already
applies to the recent FIFA scandal. In addition to calling for Blatter’s resig-
nation, demands for an independent reform commission have not fallen on
deaf ears. Corporate sponsors, including the Coca-Cola Company and
VISA, have joined the activist #NewFIFANow campaign, Transparency
International, and the International Trade Union Confederation in denounc-
ing the proposal of a taskforce headed by a FIFA appointee and insider,
Domenico Scala (Transparency International Secretariat 2015).
How might these lessons apply to the other ongoing challenges facing
global sport governance? In relation to international sport organizations,
particularly FIFA, Transparency International (2009, 2011) has called for
multistakeholder involvement so as to democratize their decision-making
processes. Similarly, it recommends that they become more open to working
with civil society groups as a starting point for the development of a system
of checks and balances. Nevertheless, Transparency International’s recom-
mendations alone have not prompted reform. Instead, public campaigns
bringing to light the many abuses associated with FIFA’s mega events have
prompted critics outside and within the organization to call for reforms to its
© 2015 The Author
Law & Policy © 2015 The University of Denver/Colorado Seminary
bidding processes. Among the recommendations are that FIFA adopt the
IOC’s guidelines for host city bids (Radnedge 2014). While asking FIFA to
follow IOC rules (which have their own limitations) may not be enough, the
call does point to the influence of the IOC as a potential ally for at least
qualified change, especially as the IOC is pushing for reform while not
drawing attention to its own practices. As the cases of antidoping regulation
and the sport-for-development movement suggest, the IOC’s track record
demonstrates that it can lobby for and secure governmental and international
legal support of sport-specific measures.
In sum, regulatory enforcement that attends to the conditions of regula-
tory capitalism requires reformulating the traditionally narrow focus of
transparency as accountability-by-audit in order to devise incentives for
disclosure and openness. Analyses of hybridity do more than enable the
understanding of prospective barriers; they assist in identifying which stake-
holders in these relationships are more likely to use their clout for positive
change. Moreover, they enable the introduction of practices that promote
greater transparency. As punishing individual perpetrators is less effective
than concentrating on ways to prevent future violations, encouraging acts of
whistleblowing and punishing cover-ups of corruption and abuse show more
promise than surveillance alone. Transparency is a key value instilled
through these processes, but it requires the multistakeholder engagement for
which Transparency International has lobbied. Just as—if not more—
importantly, it requires rethinking the terms and nuances of power within a
transnational domain etched and shaped by capitalism and the hybrid
arrangements it has fostered.
1. Soccer for North American readers.
2. The hearing is available via C-SPAN at
hearing-future-international-soccer-fifa (accessed July 23, 2015).
3. From 2007 to 2013, I conducted fieldwork in Australia, Canada, Spain, Switzer-
land, New Zealand, and the United States on the emergence of the international
antidoping regime and gender verification rules. In 2011–2012, I studied the
politics of planning for the London Olympics, focusing specifically on the relo-
cation and securitization efforts as well as resistance movements to them. Since
2013, I have studied the Sport for Development and Peace Movement and the
International Olympic Committee’s governance structures, thus far having con-
ducted fieldwork in Australasia and the Pacific, as well as the UN Headquarters.
Taken together, these projects have required me to interview athletes subject to
sport governance arrangements, national and international administrators and
policymakers, politicians, sport support staff, residents affected by mega event
organizing, and protestors. In addition, I have observed meetings of governing
bodies, sport-specific conferences, sport outreach activities, developmental and
elite sporting events, participated in high-level sport in order to experience regu-
lation firsthand, and conducted archival research at the International Olympic
Studies Centre in Lausanne while an IOC postgraduate fellow.
344 LAW & POLICY October 2015
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Law & Policy © 2015 The University of Denver/Colorado Seminary
4. Fieldnotes, June 6, 2013, New York. A number of media outlets and publicly
accessible interviews reiterate this sentiment.
5. Estimates for security expenditures do not include the 6 billion US dollars for
CCTV camera installations (Boykoff 2013).
6. Presentation by Nicholas Bequelin, Amnesty International Regional Director for
East Asia, entitled “The Human Rights Cost of the Beijing Olympics: An Assess-
ment,” Melbourne, November 29, 2014.
7. In the 1980s, for example, local hosts kept the vast majority of revenues, because
they auctioned the television rights (Abend 2014).
8. In a statement at the 2011 European Union Sports Forum, Howman advocated
for a dedicated international organization (Harris 2011). Others have made
similar cases, including Mark Davis, director of Betfair (an Internet gambling
exchange), in 2008, and Dick Pound, former WADA president, in 2007.
9. The first antidoping regulations actually targeted horse racing, and concerns
around fair play emerged in relation to protecting gambling interests, not the
“spirit of sport” (Gleaves 2012). The globalization of antidoping regulation in
horse racing emerges earlier than the antidoping regime targeting (human) sport
in part because of this linkage to corporatized gambling.
10. In Aotearoa New Zealand and Australia, for instance, the majority of antidoping
rule violations stem from testing positive for cannabis metabolites, with bans
from sport ranging from four months to ten years.
11. Fieldnotes from four interviews conducted in Canberra and New York on Sep-
tember 6, 2012 and June 5, 2013, respectively.
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... All this means that sport organisations, although traditionally organised privately-from associations to public limited companies-can be characterised as hybrid organisations with characteristics of both private and public organisations (Henne 2015;Lucassen & Van der Roest 2011). They deal with both the public value issues of a private organisation such as Shell ('how do we act honestly and with integrity?') ...
... All this means that sport organisations, although traditionally organised privately-from associations to public limited companies-can be characterised as hybrid organisations with characteristics of both private and public organisations (Henne 2015;Lucassen & Van der Roest 2011). They deal with both the public value issues of a private organisation such as Shell ('how do we act honestly and with integrity?') ...
... Transparency as a concept is broader than accountability (defined below), and relates to clarity over the structure, funding, spending, and conduct of an organization through reporting "rules, plans, processes and actions" (Transparency International, 2017c), although disclosure is an important aspect of transparency, such as that found in the likes of the UK Corporate Governance Code (FRC, 2016). Care, however, must be taken to avoid an "accountability-by-audit approach" (where transparency in process is merely a means to allow audit) (Henne, 2015), where generalist rules are not necessarily suitable for the industry. Klitgaard (1988) and Rose-Ackerman (1999) correlate greater levels of administrator accountability to lower levels of corruption and, therefore, bribery. ...
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International Sports Governing Bodies (“ISGBs”) are diverse in their aims but share a need to maintain a reputation of accountability in the eyes of their stakeholders. While some literature analyses the general governance concerns faced by these organizations, there is limited focus on anti-bribery and corruption (“ABC”) within this sphere. This paper's research aim is an exploratory evaluation of the ABC best practice policies that exist within ISGBs, asking how they can be assessed and what best practice policies currently exist within this framework. This paper undertakes a critical review of the diverse ABC governance policies in the largest ISGBs through content analysis on governance documents publically available on the sample ISGB websites. This review was undertaken twice on the same ISGBs, in 2017 and 2020, and the changes reviewed. The research highlights best practice policies for recommendation to all ISGBs, and illuminates the absence of adequate policies with regards to the risk of bribery in ISGBs. The findings show there was no area within the framework that ISGBs performed well at as a collective, and there was no single ISGB whose anti-bribery policies were strong in all areas. However, the comparison between 2017 and 2020 shows an improvement in ABC policies in some ISGBs over the timeframe analyzed. The implications are a need for sharing best practice in this area of governance, and providing global guidance on ABC policies for ISGBs to ensure integrity in the sector.
... No que se refere à transparência como prática de governança para associações esportivas, Marques (2014) indica que se trata da divulgação de informações referentes às atividades dos clubes previstas pela legislação específica. Henne (2015), enfatiza a importância da transparência para o combate à corrupção das instituições de futebol, sobretudo após o significativo aumento dos investimentos no esporte. Outra demanda por organizações mais transparentes se refere à credibilidade das instituições, que para Hamil, Morrow, Idle, Rossi e Faccendini (2010), é um dos problemas que ocasionou a decadência do futebol praticado na Itália. ...
Este artigo apresenta e analisa os resultados do estudo multicasos sobre a relação da aplicação de práticas de governança corporativa e desempenho esportivo nas seguintes agremiações de futebol profissional: GE Brasil, SER Caxias, EC Juventude e EC Pelotas entre 2012 e 2016. Por meio de análise bibliográfica, documental e entrevistas, busca-se identificar a adoção de princípios governança a partir de cinco dimensões presentes na literatura: estrutura de governança, transparência, accountability, retorno social e práticas gerenciais. Observou-se que as dimensões estrutura de governança e práticas gerenciais foram determinantes para o bom desempenho de GE Brasil e EC Juventude no período. A SER Caxias, apresentou melhora somente em 2016, enquanto que o EC Pelotas possui problemas nas dimensões preponderantes para o sucesso dos demais clubes pesquisados. Em consonância com estudos anteriores na área, percebeu-se que os clubes que adotaram práticas de governança com maior intensidade, obtiveram melhores resultados esportivos.
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This is a draft copy only. I did not upload the finalised form but have found a copy of it here: Sport, Criminology
This study provides a structured overview of the literature published between 2010 and 2020 on the causes and consequences of fraud in sport using a systematic search strategy. Our results show that the current literature on this phenomenon is mostly focused on football as a specific type of sport, and on competition manipulation as a specific type of fraud. Guided by the routine activity theory, we observed that motivated offenders, suitable targets, and the lack of capable guardians render sport vulnerable for fraud in general, and for competition manipulation, corruption, financial fraud, and human trafficking in particular. The consequences of fraud in sport are mostly financial, through a diminution in the public's trust combined with a decrease in attendance and spectatorship to sport events. The phenomenon of fraud in sport remains strongly under-researched through empirical designs, and an interdisciplinary approach is required to tackle its complex nature and scope.
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Com recurso a entrevistas semiestruturadas e análise de conteúdo, este artigo avalia e expõe a ineficácia da política de “tolerância zero” da UEFA, órgão máximo do futebol europeu, em induzir compliance nos jogadores de futebol, em Portugal, ao nível das práticas de match-fixing. A ênfase excessiva na ética individual, a externalização do fenómeno como um problema do crime organizado e a relutância em admitir falhas de governança interna são as principais razões explicativas. O artigo afirma que a regulamentação do futebol deve passar de uma lógica de compliance para políticas de enforcement.
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This book suggests that the scope and breadth of regulatory reforms since the mid-1980s and particularly during the 1990s, are so striking that they necessitate a reappraisal of current approaches to the study of the politics of regulation. The authors call for the adoption of different and fresh perspectives to examine this area.
Cambridge Core - International Trade Law - Global Business Regulation - by John Braithwaite
The Olympic Games have become the world’s greatest media and marketing event-a global celebration of exceptional athletics gilded with corporate cash. Huge corporations vie for association with the “Olympic Image” in the hope of gaining a worldwide marketing audience of billions. In this provocative critical study of the contemporary Olympics, Jules Boykoff argues that the Games have become a massive planned economy designed to shield the rich from risk while providing them with a spectacle to treasure. Placing political economy at the center of the analysis, and drawing on interdisciplinary research in sociology, politics, geography, history, and economics, Boykoff develops an innovative theory of “celebration capitalism”, the manipulation of state actors as partners that drives us towards public-private partnerships in which the public pays and the private profits. He argues that the Athens Games in 2004 marked the full emergence of celebration capitalism, with London 2012 representing its quintessential expression, characterized by a state of exception, unfettered commercialism, repression of dissent, questionable sustainability claims, and the complicity of the mainstream media. Controversial, challenging, and forthright, this book opens up a fascinating new avenue for understanding the contemporary Olympics in the context of global capitalist society. It is essential reading for anybody with an interest in the Olympic Games, the relationship between sport and society, or global politics and culture.
This paper presents a case-study of spatial brand protection and media management and security strategies at the 2010 Football World Cup (FWC) in South Africa (RSA). This focus stems from the realisation that commercially designated event spaces are very important environments for the interests of FWC sponsors, and that the media has a pivotal role in conveying messages about desirable conduct in such environments. In these respects, stakeholder organisations are concerned about safeguarding core event spaces, and with promoting positive messages about the FWC via the media. The paper therefore investigates the interests of key stakeholders at the 2010 FWC: the event owner Fédération Internationale de Football Association (FIFA), the FWC sponsors and the host city (Cape Town). It is concerned with identifying various surveillance strategies to manage public spaces at the FWC, albeit with a particular emphasis on protecting the interests of sponsors and their brand integrity. It is also concerned with strategies to manage the media at the FWC, with a particular emphasis on how FIFA stymies dissent and forces compliance among reporters and news outlets that undermine critical surveillance into these practices of spatial management. Taken together, these hyper-protectionist approaches demonstrate what we have described as the FIFA-isation of the FWC, where commercial risk is outsourced to the event host, while the commercial benefits flow back to the event owner. Concomitantly, FIFA makes enormous surveillance demands on the event hosts and those residing in the country and city where it is to be held, and upon the media that broadcast and report on the world’s biggest sport mega events.
The pharmaceutical industry exists to serve the community, but over the years it has engaged massively in corporate crime, with the public footing the bill. This readable study by experts in medicine, law, criminology and public health documents the problems, ranging from false advertising and counterfeiting to corruption waste and overpricing, with unacceptable pressures on doctors, politicians, patients and the media. Uniquely, the book goes on to present a realistic and worldwide solution for the future, with positive policies encouraging honest dealing as well as partial privatization of enforcement and greater emphasis on creative research to develop the medicines that society needs most. © The Editors and Contributors Severally 2014. All rights reserved.