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“Current Issues in Sport Law: Sport Basic Law, anti-doping and governance of sport organisations”, the 8th Japan Sports Arbitration Agency Symposium

The Japan Sports Arbitration Agency (JSAA) held the Symposium on current issues faced in sport law. The Keynote Speech was delivered by both Mr. Tenzo Okumura, the Minister in Charge of Sport, and Mr. David Howman, Director General of World Anti-Doping Agency (WADA).

Mr. Okumura outlined the recently enforced legislation for sport and highlighted the significance of deepening a sport culture. He mentioned that the momentum for creating a sole government agency for sport will be maintained, while securing and utilising resources, particularly the effective use of toto (Japan's national soccer lottery), will be a focus of the policy areas.

In his keynote speech titled ‘New Trends in Anti-Doping Policy’, Mr. Howman first outlined the development of anti-doping in the last decade and shared the challenges which WADA faces.

To help in the fight against sophisticated cheats, partnerships with the International Federation of Pharmaceutical Manufactures Associations (IFPMA) and the World Customs Organizations (WCO), and the effective collection of intelligence and sharing of evidence, were stressed as valuable. It was explained that the integrity of sport is under threat with the illegal betting and corruption controlled by the underworld, and that sport can benefit from the WADA model. Confronting "complacency" and ensuring "long-term commitment from all" is required to provide a more level playing field.

The Symposium was followed by a panel discussion mainly concentrating on the foreseeable expectations and issues ahead, following the passage of the Basic Sport Law, and sharing opinions on the issue of governance in sport. The new legislation was applauded and appreciated as a crucial step toward creating a new sporting culture in Japan. Expectations by the various sport federations are currently directed at obtaining support for athletes’ development and bids for international competitions. The governance issue was seen as an urgent and imperative task, especially for ensuring transparency in sport organisations, the selection process of athletes, the election of board members and financial expenditure. At the same time, it was noted that smaller organisations with minimum financial and human resources should also be supported in order to maintain their governing structure and, most importantly, the social security of their staff.

Symposium at JASAA: http://www.jsaa.jp/sympo/sympo8.html - Japanese only
c/o Kishi Memorial Hall, 1-1-1 Jinnan,Shibuya-ku, Tokyo 150-8050 Japan Tel: +81 (0)3 5790 9656 / Fax: +81 (0)3 5790 9657