As another year comes to a close, it is safe to say that 2012 has been a truly remarkable and memorable one for the business of sport. Major events including EURO 2012 and the London 2012 Olympic and Paralympic Games have proven to be a celebration of athleticism, humanity and integrity and have underlined sport’s unique ability to empower and unite communities and nations around the world.
But imagine if Mo Farah had won both his 5,000m and 10,000m races before they had even began? Imagine if the famous French victory in the 4 x 100m freestyle relay had been secured long before Yannick Agnel overtook the Americans in that incredible race?
And imagine if Usain Bolt’s legendary 100m/200m double gold-winning performance had been fixed prior to the races?
These are of course all hypothetical and fictional statements but what if something like this happened in the future and how would it impact our everyday lives? If this were to happen in the future, revenues would fall, interest would wane and huge damage would be inflicted on all those involved in sport.
It may well be the case that sport manufacturers, sponsors and sport federations have already calculated the exact impact that sport results manipulation can have on their business and what this year has shown through a number of high-profile incidents is that protecting the integrity and credibility of sport is fundamental to upholding the future of the industry as a whole.
To use a recent example, the Lance Armstrong case has shown the importance of ensuring the integrity and transparency of sport and the serious consequences of inadequate measures to deter cheats, failing to protect vulnerable individuals and the significant financial implications of lost sponsorship and revenues.
In order to preserve the appeal and passion of sport, the integrity of competition needs to be championed and upheld. This is why, in the light of the growing number of cases of sport results manipulation, the International Centre for Sport Security (ICSS) has partnered with the Qatar Olympic Committee (QOC) to create a new and unique education initiative, known as the ‘Save the Dream’ Programme.
A key part of this new initiative will be the creation of a panel consisting of 11 high-profile athletes from different sports and regions around the world, as well as a team composed of world-leading experts in education, communications, sport management and sport integrity.
Chaired by Italian football star Alessandro del Piero, the programme will provide young athletes and officials with a chance to meet their sporting idols and learn about the dangers of match-fixing and corruption in sport.
As part of the ICSS’s mission to share knowledge and enhance best practice in sport security and integrity, the QOC and ICSS will present the first results of the ‘Save the Dream’ Programme, as well as announcing members of the Expert Panel and Athlete Group, at SECURING SPORT 2013™ (18th/19th March). With many security and integrity issues in sport now dominating headlines around the world, there has never been such a need to drive new thinking in this area. With this in mind and with another exciting year in the industry upon us, we’re looking forward to welcoming the industry for what will be an engaging conference which will contribute to safeguarding the integrity of sport in 2013.
THIS WEEK’S ARTICLES:
KEIR RADNEDGE: A EURO FOR EUROPE
ROGAN TAYLOR: IT DOESN’T HAVE TO BE LIKE THIS
DELROY ALEXANDER: GREATER MORAL NOT TECHNICAL GUIDANCE NEEDED
ROGAN TAYLOR: MORE THAN A GREAT FOOTBALLER
By Mohammed Hanzab, President of the International Centre for Sport Security (ICSS)
The views of our regular columnists are independent, and as such do not represent those of Leaders in Football.