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Why is it so difficult for sports executives to be honest?

The IOC Session at the Lima Convention Centre in Lima, Peru. (Photo: IOC)
by Gianni Merlo, AIPS President, La Gazzetta dello Sport

LAUSANNE, September 14, 2017 - I wonder why it is so hard for the sports executives to be honest. Because this is the real problem. We talk about governance, but if this is not done by honest people it is completely useless. Or it is nothing but a screen to hide real corruption.

Letís be practical for a second: in the last decade, the sporting world has not seen many corrupt merchants be expelled from the temple. So the situation has deteriorated further, due to corruption becoming more refined. The IOC members who were hunted for corruption in 1999 were fundamentally romantic compared to the current ones moving through the world of sports.

There are those hiding behind the fact that there is an ethics commission, saying that it defends the purity of the IOC and the Federations.

Letís please not joke around, these are serious times. This ethics commission has only intervened to inform us that it could not allow the 2024 candidate cities to come to the AIPS Congress and talk to the gathered sports press from around the world, without having to spend too much. The maximum cost for the candidates would have been $ 2500 at most, in a total budget of $80 million.

We responded with a strongly worded letter.

However, what the ethics commission is, is almost a guarantee for the corrupt, because it rarely investigates cases thoroughly. The question is why.

A colleague who has followed the sporting world for many years and has a good understanding of many things wrote: "One bid, which I will not mention, came up with the clever idea of a 'pension'. One month before the vote, X dollars were paid into the IOC membersí account. Provided the city won, the same amount would be paid every month for seven years until the Olympic flame was shut off. Stopped a lot of wasted bribes for nothing and those targeted for the pension would work like hell to convince their fellow members who to vote for. By far the most sensible system I've come across."

How is it that a journalist knew more than everyone else and how did this manage to escape the smart guys of the ethics commission? Where there any investigations done at least? Did anyone summon it? We, of course have no news on any of this.

For this reason, we believe that the world of sport must make a real analysis of its own state and must work to have the courage to kick out those who do not cultivate honesty as a basic principle in the world of sport. It is not so difficult if the will is there, and there are still many honest and safe people around.

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