Research Handbook on EU Sports Law and Policy
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Research Handbook on EU Sports Law and Policy

Edited by Jack Anderson, Richard Parrish and Borja García

The EU’s influence on sport has traditionally focused on the socio-economic and cultural impact. This Research Handbook on EU Sports Law explores the development of the 'European dimension' in sport, and the concomitant legal issues including, competition law, state aid and free movement of persons. The application of such areas of EU law to sport and the influence of EU law on key policy issues such as, doping, match-fixing and governance, are detailed in this comprehensive collection. The topical chapters by experts in their field, also touch upon the future evolution of EU sports law.
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Chapter 8: The autonomy of sport and the EU

Jean-Loup Chappelet


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.

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