ASOIF governance reforms have been discussed at a special workshop ©ASOIF

A new monitoring body that hopes to help organisations improve their governance procedures is to be set-up by the Association of Summer Olympic International Federations (ASOIF).

ASOIF President Francesco Ricci Bitti believes that such an idea will ensure "corrective action" and be more effective than formal compliance criteria.

It is being considered as part of an going governance review organised by umbrella body, ASOIF, although assisting winter, as well as Summer International Federations.

"Governance is a very exact science," Ricci Bitti, the former President of the International Tennis Federation" told insidethegames.

"We should work on corrective action as I prefer this to compliance.

"Compliance pre-empts sanctions and has the same standard for everyone. 

"Governance cannot be the same for everyone.

"How can you compare FIFA and the International Canoe Federation, for example, they are different in size, different in resources...?

"So I believe the best we can do is to install independent - meaning people who understand the matter but are not from ASOIF - to do the next step of analysis.

"We need to have a permanent group of people, paid by us, that go forward.

"This panel would work permanently and try to identify what is easily feasible in terms of corrective action."

International Federation representatives attend the 2017 ASOIF General Assembly in Aarhus ©Getty Images
International Federation representatives attend the 2017 ASOIF General Assembly in Aarhus ©Getty Images

Ricci Bitti disputed the idea that this body should have the power to publicly sanction bodies with governance problems.

This is partly because they are reluctant to draw-up general rules which all bodies must comply with.

The Italian said, for instance, that their research has indicated that International Federations with a limited mandate for elected positions - including for the Presidency - are more effective, but is reluctant impose that as a standard.

A problem, Ricci Bitti admitted, is that officials are desperate to stay in positions in order to enjoy supplementary benefits which come with it, including membership of the International Olympic Committee.

ASOIF have already introduced a list of over 100 good governance practices undertaken by specific International Federations, which have been distributed to all.

There is growing focus on good governance issues following recent scandals involving International Federations such as FIFA and the International Association of Athletics Federations.

Ricci Bitti was less concerned about compliance criteria over anti-doping issues because, unlike with governance, the World Anti-Doping Code is a uniform rule with which all bodies can comply equally.

The World Anti-Doping Agency are currently aiming to introduce specific compliance criteria for International Federations to obey - with a list of escalating sanctions if they do not.

Ricci Bitti believes, however, that National Anti-Doping Organisations should also be forced to obey similar rules if such a system is introduced.

It is likely that all of these issues will be discussed further at the IF Forum due to open here tomorrow at the Hotel Royal Savoy.