Being Superhuman can get you a longer sentence than rape, murder, or molesting children...

Why...

Can someone explain to me how sports Governing Bodies can impose a lifetime ban for substance abuse but not for crimes of violence? Nearly all have zero tolerance to drugs but not for serious crimes? For example, the International Olympic Committee has banned athletes convicted of drug offences from competing for life, but what about other crimes? The whole point of a Governing Body in each sport (apart from keeping the blazer department of Aquascutum, Brookes Brothers and Marks & Spencer in business) is to set out rules. Here’s a simple one; a serious criminal conviction means the Governing Body bans its athletes professionally for life from their sport; no matter who might want to subsequently hire them. To say the convicted athletes are then prevented from making any kind of living is nonsense. Yes they are prevented from making a living supported by the public and media but isn’t that cost of the betrayal of trust? Work at something else. Athletes are role models to children, have a voice in society as well as often being spokesmen for companies and products. If convicted, surely they lose that unique position along with their ability to perform as a professional? Only if they win an appeal or the judgement is later overturned, do they get their license back.

...and another thing

Conviction for paedophilia, blackmail, fraud, armed robbery, assault, rape (er…..unless you are Mike Tyson) or murder (ummmm, manslaughter decision handed to Oscar Pistorius being appealed by the prosecution), should mean the accused are likely to be past their prime by the time they get out; no matter how much pumping iron they do in the prison courtyard. However if they can still compete, it should still be nul point; no deal. They are out of the sport professionally.

...and another thing

No entertainer in Film, TV or Theatre would survive such crimes. Is anyone going to hire either Gary Glitter, Rolf Harris or Phil Spector in a few years just because they have served their time?

...and another thing

The reason so many sports Governing Bodies are registered in Switzerland is simple. Switzerland has a special law on ‘associations’ which loosely translates as ‘charities’ but encompasses anything from a tiddly-wink club to FIFA.

I’m told just about any non-profit, non-governmental organisation can be included under these laws. This seems to mean juicy tax perks and minimal requirement for transparency and disclosure.

To be fair the Swiss are now reviewing all this but other countries are stepping in to offer sports associations a tax friendly home. Badminton is in Malaysia and cricket’s Governing Body the ICC is now located in that well established cricketing nation, Dubai.

But seriously, who really cares where a Governing Body is physically situated? It’s where their morals are located that counts. They all need to make their athletes stick to some pretty basic standards and rules which if they breach, they breach forever. Once that bell has been rung, you can’t unring it.

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2 Comments

  1. Avatar Peter says:

    Surely it would lead to a chaotic situation if Governing Bodies started interpreting the law beyond those crimes that specifically are related to the sport namely drug abuse. So are you really suggesting that a sporting body should determine how long an athlete should be banned from say the athletics track for burglary ?

    • Mark Grenside Mark Grenside says:

      I am not asking for the Governing Bodies to interpret the law, merely follow a judgement after being handed down in court. The categories would be the most serious crimes of phiscal abouse or Grand Larceny and for that you are out of the sport as a professional