IOC Parting Ways With SportAccord

Posted on: June 11, 2015, 12:48h. 

Last updated on: June 11, 2015, 12:48h.

 SportAccord IOC suspension Marius Vizer
SportAccord has an uncertain future following the resignation of Marius Vizer as president. (Image: Dmitry Lovetsky/Associated Press)

The International Olympic Committee (IOC) has withdrawn both funding and recognition of SportsAccord, the organization that had served as an umbrella organization for a large number of international sports federations.

The move comes after SportAccord president Marius Vizer resigned last week.

Vizer started facing heat both from the IOC and many of SportAccord’s member federations after Vizer attacked IOC President Thomas Bach and the organization itself during a fiery speech in Sochi, Russia in April.

That didn’t sit well with many the sports organizations that had united under SportAccord, with more than two dozen either withdrawing from the federation or suspending their ties for the time being.

With SportAccord now in chaos and facing an uncertain future, the IOC decided during their meetings in Lausanne to disassociate with the body.

“We are suspending our recognition and we will withhold our funding until these questions are answered and an agreement between the stakeholders has been reached,” the IOC said.

IOC to Provide Anti-Doping Services

Of the $300,000 that the IOC provided annually for SportAccord, about $160,000 of that amount went to anti-doping programs.

The IOC has said that it would help provide some anti-doping services to sports federations that those sports had previously been receiving from SportAccord.

“We do not want the clean athletes to suffer in any way from this vacuum,” the IOC said in a statement. “We are offering the international federations concerned all the services and advice in the fight against doping which have been offered so far by SportAccord and financed by the IOC and [the World Anti-Doping Agency].”

“We will be making the same offer with regard to good governance as well as on match-fixing and related corruption, and the IOC is ready to provide this support directly,” the statement continued. “We must ensure that there is not a vacuum during this ongoing process.”

Future events that were expected to be held under the SportsAccord banner are also in question. According to insidethegames, Russia has withdrawn from a contract to host next year’s SportAccord Convention in Sochi.

And while it seems that many international sports federations want to find a new host for the annual meeting, it might very well happen under a new organization specifically created to organize that convention.

Vizer Wanted More Transparency 

Vizer’s resignation came after he had outlined an agenda that he felt would allow the international governing bodies for Olympic sports to get more out of the event, calling the current IOC structure “expired, outdated, wrong, unfair and not at all transparent.”

His ideas included adding prize money for athletes at the Olympics and increasing the amount of Olympic revenue that would go to the international federations to 25 percent, along with ensuring the complete independence of the Court of Arbitration for Sport.

While Vizer later resigned, he stood by his proposals.

“Everything I proposed is right and I hope to have opened a door that had been closed for a century, and I hope it remains open forever for the benefit of sport and its values,” Vizer said. “Today, the system working behind the doors is dictated by nobility titles or family inherited titles, or by members appointed for life and I hope that in the future, the basic criteria of the system will be dictated by the achievements in sport, professionalism, performances, fair-play, transparency and the courage to express the truth.”