This chapter outlines the history of the concept of autonomy of sport (organisations) from Pierre de Coubertin, at the beginnings of the 20th century, to the most recent developments at the EU level after the Meca-Medina ruling in 2006 and at world level with the UN recognition of sport autonomy following a speech of IOC President Thomas Bach at the UN General Assembly in 2013 proposing a ‘responsible autonomy’ for sports organisations in exchange of proper governance. The chapter also proposes a working definition of sport organisation’s autonomy and questions the viability of this ideal today in a context of recurring governance scandals in major international sports organisations. As a conclusion a new legal framework for such organisations is proposed.
Jean-Loup Chappelet and Michaël Mrkonjic
Recent corruption scandals involving major international sport organisations (ISOs) have deeply affected the sport system. Consequently, ISOs are being urged to follow ‘good governance’ principles such as transparency, accountability and democracy in order to restore public trust and preclude further unethical behaviour. Nevertheless, no group of major sport organisations and their stakeholders has yet accepted the sort of general and binding code or standard of governance needed to give itconceptual and operational clarity and stability. Moreover, sport organisations are faced with a plethora of governance principles and indicators, contained in almost 50 different frameworks, which might impact their activities. This chapter describes a selection of these frameworks in order to provide a better understanding of sport governance frameworks and issues relating to their implementation. It also suggests an approach for assessing and comparing them, and proposes avenues for further research in the emerging field of sport governance assessment.