Sports selection: getting it right

As the excitement and pressure builds toward the staging of the 2016 Olympics, sports governing bodies must ensure that their selection decisions can withstand scrutiny if they are challenged.

Anti-doping violations and the use of supplements in sport

Anti-doping, a recurring topic in the equestrian media, hit the headlines earlier this year when Jock Paget, a top New Zealand eventer, was stripped of his 2013 Burghley Horse Trials title after his horse, Clifton Promise, tested positive for a prohibited substance, reserpine (a sedative). Following an FEI Tribunal (the international governing body for equestrian sport), Jock was exonerated after it was determined that the supplement had been contaminated at source. The Tribunal accepted that he neither knew about the contamination nor was expected to do so. Although he did not regain his Burghley title, he was able to compete at the World Equestrian Games (WEG) in August having avoided a potential two year ban.

Using volunteers wisely

With volunteering becoming more popular and more organisations relying on the additional skillsets that volunteers can bring, many organisations have every reason to welcome volunteers. However there are a number of ground rules that employers must heed to avoid any misunderstandings regarding volunteer status. It is important that both volunteers know what is expected of them and for the existing, paid workforce to understand where they fit into the overall organisation.

Make sure your selection policies are crystal clear

For Olympic sports it must be a dream come true for those athletes selected to represent their country. By the same token, missing out on selection can be devastating and may well provoke athletes to challenge the selection decision and therefore their governing bodies’ selection policy. So how do National Governing Bodies make sure their selection policy is clear and fair?

In what circumstances can a Sports Governing Body refuse to accept membership?

As a general rule National Governing Bodies (NGB) and other sport and recreation organisations have ‘open’ membership policies. In essence, anyone who wishes to participate in the given sport of the NGB and is willing to abide by the necessary rules and codes of conduct, is able to apply for membership – which, in most cases, is a fairly straightforward process. However, what happens if the NGB believes that accepting an application from a particular individual is neither in its or its members’ interests?

NGBs and Data Protection: do you comply?

As with any organisation that handles large amounts of personal data on individuals, National Governing Bodies (NGBs) must comply with the Data Protection Act. Failure to comply means that you run the risk of being fined anything up to £500,000 by the Information Commissioner Officer (ICO – the independent body set up to promote access to official information and to protect personal information).
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