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The role of the press at the Olympic Games: a first-hand account

With their hands up in the air, ministers, four-star generals and International Olympic Commission (IOC) officials danced to some of the most famous samba tunes at the closing ceremony of the Olympics in Rio last month. While carnival was taking over the Maracanã Stadium and the entire world was watching the party, politicians hugged each […]

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Keeping the Olympic flame alive

At midnight on 4 August I looked out of my hotel room and saw a crowd of jubilant people ushering the Olympic flame down Ipanema beach. There was a party mood, no protests, just joy that the Olympics really had come to Rio. That is what the Olympics should bring: joy. And for the following […]

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Ireland’s horror week in sport: perpetrators and victims of the unOlympic Games

If you think FIFA is a mess, then take a look at the Olympic Council of Ireland and the International Boxing Association (AIBA). Just today the Brazilian police arrested Patrick Hickey, head of the Irish and European Olympic committees over illegal Olympic ticket sales. AIBA is in the firing line for allegations over bought judges […]

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What to think when Russia walks into the Olympic stadium

For a Russian, waiting for the Olympics to begin is not easy. There are many conflicting emotions and questions. Is it right to ban some but not all athletes? Do we blame our Ministry of Sport for devising a doping programme and cover-up, the International Olympic Committee or the World Anti-Doping Agency? Is it only […]

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FIFA: another own goal?

On 13 May at the first FIFA Congress since he was elected president of football’s world governing body, Gianni Infantino claimed FIFA was over its corruption crisis. He also announced the appointment of someone outside football as the new general secretary, Fatma Samba Diouf Samoura from Senegal, a former businesswoman who has worked in various senior posts […]

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FIFA reforms: beware the small print

On 26 February 2016 FIFA will convene an Extraordinary Congress meeting with just two substantive agenda items: to elect a new president in place of the suspended Sepp Blatter – and to amend the FIFA statutes on governance. Although the former will dominate the headlines, it is the latter that could determine FIFA’s fate. The […]

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Richard Pound: the corruption risks in sport

This week Richard Pound delivered a damning report on corruption at the International Association of Athletics Federations (IAAF). The former director of the World Anti-Doping Agency cited poor governance and cronyism as the reason corruption took root in international athletics and called for root and branch reform. Pound is a member of the expert advisory panel […]

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Football on trial

Football is a simple game. Twenty-two men chase a ball for 90 minutes and at the end the Germans always win, or so said Gary Lineker, the popular TV commentator and former England international. He was wrong. Football, in fact, is a system that benefits a small group of people by exploring the passion and […]

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Why good governance in football associations matters

FIFA and its corruption scandals continue to dominate the headlines. As it struggles to find a credible candidate to take over as president, Transparency International has turned its attention to FIFA’s members, the 209 national football associations (FAs). Are they in any better shape to manage their corruption risks? Football fans are the primary reason […]

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Switzerland’s changing role in the future of sport

  When the Swiss authorities arrested seven FIFA officials on 27 May 2015 in Zurich to face extradition on charges of racketeering and fraud, people were surprised not only that it was happening but where it was happening. But that was not all – almost immediately Swiss attorney general Michael Lauber disclosed that their own […]

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