Ethics in International Sporting Institutions
“Ethical Leadership in International Organizations: Concepts, Narratives, Judgment and Assessment”, Guilherme Vasconcelos Vilaça and Maria Varaki (editors), CUP, 2021
18 Pages Posted: 14 Jan 2021
Date Written: September 1, 2020
This Chapter deals with the ethical dimension of sports, which is extremely complex and variegated and involves a plethora of issues: drugs; match-fixing; corruption; age limit; gender discrimination; youth and young athletes; athletes with disabilities; professionals vs. amateurs; use of animals; use of technological devices, to name but a few. And many of these issues present themselves other declinations of ethical problems: in doping, for instance, there may be questions related to control (when and where, respecting athletes’ personal life) or to the therapeutic use of certain prohibited substances. But how does ethics legally affect organization and activities of international sporting institutions? In the Olympic Charter, that is the instrument of constitutional nature ruling the world of sport, for instance, ethics is meant as a set of fundamental values, which serves as the basis of the overall sports movement. A second dimension of ethics is when it is meant as a very legal instrument, equipped with dedicated rules, bodies and enforcement mechanisms. Lastly, the example of sporting institutions can also shed light on the more general discourse about international law and ethics, dealing with issues such as legitimacy, accountability, normative pluralism and institutional plurality.
Keywords: sports law, international sporting institutions, ethics
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