(ATR) The international federations of weightlifting, judo and swimming lag behind their fellow summer IFs in terms of implementing good governance.
Twenty-four of the 27 summer IFs achieved the target score of at least 120 points after being evaluated as part of the Third Review of International Federation Governance. The extensive evaluation
was conducted and reports compiled by the Association of Summer Olympic International Federations (ASOIF) Governance Task Force. Independent London-based I Trust Sport consulting agency administered and oversaw the intensive study and questionnaire in cooperation with ASOIF.
Badminton, cycling, equestrian, football, rugby and triathlon were the six federations that achieved the highest scores and were placed in the A1 group, the highest classification of four groups. Each of the six federations scored between 170 and 187 points out of a theoretical maximum of 200. The results were determined by responses to a 50-indicator self-assessment survey sent to each of the participating 31 IFs, including four associate IFs.
Criteria for the evaluations included transparency, integrity, democracy, development and control mechanisms. The 54-page report was released by ASOIF to the federations and also made public – for the first time ever – in conjunction with a teleconference for select media on Tuesday.
ASOIF executive director Andrew Ryan and president Francesco Ricci Bitti (ATR)
“We are here to support and to help them, not to judge,” said ASOIF president Francesco Ricci Bitti of the IFs. “The federations have devoted a lot of resources to this project. It is not our job to judge. It is not a ranking, it is a snapshot of the situation that has been done dutifully.
“We believe that we can start working with these federations - to implement, to analyze our best practices and see what we can do.
“We have limitations in our constitution and in timing, but I believe in the spirit of our association and the spirit of this process.”
ASOIF executive director Andrew Ryan said he was pleased with the level of participation and outcome of the study.
“In general, we were very satisfied with the information provided (by the IFs),” Ryan said. “It takes a great deal of work to complete the questionnaire as part of their resources and we’re very grateful for each of them to take it so seriously and taking the time to do so.”
Ricci Bitti emphasized some of the specific goals and objectives concerning the future of sport governance: greater transparency while opening the world to public authorities, fighting corruption in sport while seeking an internationally accepted benchmark and a focus on improving organizational culture.
An overall assessment of the IF study appears to reveal that significant progress has been made, although challenges lie ahead with ample room for improvement. There are also substantial gaps between the highest and lowest rated federations.
Eighteen of the 31 IFs that were assessed in 2017-18 have improved by 20 points or more in 2019-20 and a further nine have improved by 10 points or more. Middle- and lower-ranking IFs tended to see the largest gains.
Sport Climbing was the highest rated associate federation.
Of the ASOIF associate federations – those who are new to the Olympic program for Tokyo 2020 – only sport climbing achieved the B category with a score between 120-137, while baseball/softball, surfing and skateboarding were all ranked in the lowest tier C category. Two reached the established target of 100 points.
Considering its current suspension by the IOC, international boxing federation AIBA was excluded from the study.
IFs were also evaluated in terms of gender equality and more recently expanded to also include ethnic diversity.
The impact of IF term limits was also assessed considering nine of the IFs do not include term limits in their by-laws. Ricci Bitti stated that while ASOIF cannot impose such limitations on IFs, the organization is “in favor of term limits".
Comparisons were also made regarding revenues and size of the IFs. In general, the larger ones seem to have made greater strides in improving governance practices.
The ASOIF Governance Task Force concluded that it "is highly encouraged but not fully satisfied by the concerted efforts among many IFs to improve their governance. Almost all of the IFs studied have done significant work in the two years since the previous assessment and there is considerable progress since the first study in 2016-17.
"At the time of writing sport faces unprecedented challenges, along with the rest of society. Even during the period of the assessment, before the current crisis, it was clear that the environment in which IFs operate was going to become more complex and subject to more scrutiny as time goes on. Sports need to be well-governed to give themselves a better chance of thriving.”
Rowland Jack, the founder of I Trust Sport, noted that next steps include follow-up meetings with each of the individual IFs to further discuss and evaluate their moderated scores.
Written and reported by Brian Pinelli
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