April 28 - Good Governance was the issue on discussion here today as International Olympic Committee members (IOC) Anita Defrantz and Ivan Dibós deliberated what it takes to ensure the good governance of a sporting organisation.
Amid mass investigations into alleged corruption in sport throughout Korea, this Conference, held by the International Sport Cooperation Centre of Korea (ISC) with the support of the IOC and which also included Min-Gyo Koo of the Seoul National University and two South Korean Olympic speed skating champions Seung-Hoon Lee and Suk-Hee Shim, looked to establish the basic principles that lead to the good governing of a sports body.
Good Governance of the Olympic and sports Movement has been near the top of the agenda of Thomas Bach since he took over as IOC President last September.
In his speech entitled "What is Good Governance?" Koo highlighted the need for accountability and transparency as he highlighted a One World Trust survey from 2012 that found the IOC to be the least accountable and transparent global organisation out of 30 companies, inter-Governmental organisations, voluntary groups and charities.
Talking about the "Principles of Good Governance", Dibós highlighted the huge commercialisation of sport as the reason for the increasing questions surrounding good governance in sports bodies, which "painfully exposed governance failures such as corruption and bribery, but also made sport subject to the more avaricious and predatory ways of global capitalism."
He believed that the "Board plays the most important role for good governance," and felt that "protecting the autonomy of sport is essential for the Board to function effectively," with outside political interferences a huge disruption to the sport's standards of fair play and impartiality.
Defrantz, an IOC Executive Board member, Board member at the United States Olympic Committee and President of the LA84 Foundation, delivered a key-note speech as she questioned whether good governance was really enough for sport, believing organisations should strive for greatness rather than settle at being good.
"If sport is centred on challenges that seem to require that we do more than before, that we rise to a challenge we have decided to accept, why should we be satisfied with merely good governance in sport?" she said
"The nature of sport is to go beyond what is normal; it is to achieve greatness.
"It is logical that the governance in at least this area of life should mirror the central intent of sport and be better than merely good but be great."
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