Christophe De Kepper will lead a new committee protecting IOC-sanctioned sporting events ©Getty Images

A new committee has been set-up by the International Olympic Committee (IOC) to investigate the threat of private companies organising major events poses to sport's sovereignty.

The group will be headed by Christophe De Kepper, director general of the IOC. 

There are growing fears within the Olympic Movement that its autonomy is being threatened by commercial organisations arranging tournaments and events that are outside their jurisdiction.

The IOC's fears have been stoked by a row involving the International Basketball Federation (FIBA) and Euroleague, a tournament featuring the continent's top clubs and broadcast in 199 countries, but which is run by privately-held Euroleague Commercial Assets.

FIBA Europe have struggled to wrestle back control of the sport and earlier this year threatened 16 countries with bans from major tournaments, including this year's Olympic Games in Rio de Janeiro.

The European Olympic Committees (EOC) have also been involved in a row with the organsiers of the European Championships, an event featuring aquatics, athletics, cycling, golf, gymnastics, rowing and triathlon and due to be held for the first time in Berlin and Glasgow in 2018.

The EOC have accused the organisers, European Sports Championship Management (ESCM), of including a clause in the contract which allegedly prevented the Continental Federations of these sports from taking part in any other multi-sport events within the next year.

Tensions between the EuroLeague and FIBA is one example of a administrative rivalry in sport ©Getty Images
Tensions between the EuroLeague and FIBA is one example of a administrative rivalry in sport ©Getty Images

That would have had a negative effect on the 2019 European Games, which the EOC hope to stage in Russia, and also the summer and winter editions of its European Youth Olympic Festival.

The clause has now been dropped but EOC President Patrick Hickey still claims events organised by private companies present a significant threat to the future of the Olympic Movement.

Other sports are also facing competition from outside their governing bodies, including equestrian where the Global Champions Tour last year filed a successful legal action which led to the International Equestrian Federation's “exclusivity clause” being suspended by a court in Belgium. 

"We have no problem with ESCM, we totally support the European Championships and encourage it," Hickey told insidethgames.

"What we object to are financial entities who are in it for profit.

"The IOC have woken up to the problem.

"Preisdent Thomas Bach spoke at length about it during the IOC Executive Board meeting in Lausanne last week and how we needed to deal with the situation."

De Kepper is expected to present a preliminary report on his findings to the next meeting of the IOC Executive Board in Rio de Janeiro on July 30 and 31.