Sanctions imposed by international sports federations in respect of non-authorised sporting events

Question

The International Skating Union (ISU) threatens to ban its athletes for life if they participate in speed skating events that are not authorised by the federation. In various other sports, international federations similarly restrict the economic opportunities of European athletes.

  1. Aside from the specificities of the ISU ban, how does the Commission view the fact that international sports federations sanction their athletes for taking part in non‐authorised events?
  2. Is the Commission of the opinion that the sanction of a lifelong ban for participating in non-authorised events can be considered to be inherent and proportionate to the pursuit of a legitimate objective, and is the fact that non-authorised events are often closely connected to, and co-sponsored by, betting companies an important element in its assessment?
  3. How does the Commission view the fact that redistribution and solidarity mechanisms are less strongly developed by private/commercial competition organisers than by some (inter)national sports federations?

Answer

Restrictions and sanctions introduced by international sports federations need to comply with EU legislation. In this respect, the Commission would refer the Honourable Members to its answer to Written Question E-9482/14 in relation to this matter.

Concerning solidarity mechanisms in sport, the Commission has called on stakeholders to strengthen them, while fully respecting EC law. Notably, the report of the Expert Group on Sustainable Financing of Sport entitled ‘Strengthening financial solidarity mechanisms within sport’ addresses this issue.

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