FULL-TIME: An Analysis – Monday 27 November

Welcome back. Let’s talk about Day Two and start with ‘International Sport on Trial: Which case for the prosecution?

“The big challenge is to archive conviction, it is very difficult to archive investigations,” said Stefano Caneppele, Professor of Criminology, about the fight against organised crime in sports: “Sports is money and where there’s money there is crime.”

Feature photo: Thomas Søndergaard/Play the Game

Fabianna Schneider, Federal Prosecutor at the Federal Public Ministry Brazil, spoke about the Rio 2016 investigations and the international dimension:

(Below) A twitter post by Norwegian journalist Andreas Selliaas.

Photo: Andreas Selliaas

In the Athletes’ rights and monopoly powers session:

Nikki Dryden, Human rights lawyer and Olympian spoke. Dryden advocates for IOC to intervene and requests that Saudi Arabia have womens athletes.

She also has spoken out against the International Basketball Federation (FIBA) for making men remove turbans and women, removing head scarfs only in certain incidences where officials have ruled that they are not safe under rules which are unclear.

In an interview, Dryden said “FIFA shouldn’t get to pick and choose which issues they want to get involved with” and she believes the next six months will be critical for athletes rights; the next Human Rights Report will come out and show if actual change has been made and action has been taken, especially in relation to the 2018 Olympics in Russia.

FUN FACT! Dryden has inspired one of our own On the Game 17 team to apply for law school next year.

Brendan Schwab, Executive Director at World Players Association, UNI Global Union, said in ’embedding the human rights of athletes in world sport’:

“You need to empower the people that are affected by the situation.”

Play the Game 2017 - Parallel session: Athletes' rights and monopoly powers
Brendan Schwab, Executive Director, World Players Association, UNI Global Union, speaking at Play the Game 2017. Photo: Thomas Søndergaard/Play the Game

Picture & Sound: Perfection and reality

Sada Reed, Assistant Professor at Arizona State University spoke of ‘paradigm repair’ and the hero myth in American sports journalism: an analysis of Lance Armstrong coverage.

MAIN POINTS: Paradigms can be broken, and when they are, people engage in paradigm repair.

  • Research conducted at the university, trying to see how journalists respond when one of their own did something unacceptable.
  • Past research suggests that journalists will isolate the journalist who erred, however sports journalists painted Armstrong as the rogue and scapegoat, and how a lot of the cynicism is more prevalent in baseball and cycling.  

Member of PLAY!YA, Ian Mengel presented on how perfection in sports leads to decadence and how to tell real stories: “we have to not only show glory, not only the heroes.”

On the Game 17 were live on facebook once again, with three guests!

Live stream with Nenad Dikic, Professor/President of the Doping Control Board at Singidunum University/Antidoping Agency Serbia.

You can watch the whole live stream and other videos by clicking here. Guests included Nenad Dikic (pictured above), President of the Anti-doping Agency, Serbia, Vassilis Barkkoukis, Assistant Professor at the Department of Physical Education and Sports Science at Aristotle University of Thessaloniki and Daniel Westmattelmann, Research Assistant at University of Münster. 

Here’s our pick of the best quotes from the interviews:

In Rio revisited: The troubled legacy of the 2016 Olympics, Juliana Barbassa, Managing Editor at Americas Quarterly, said:

“The city that we have now is one that I think is more unequal than the city that we had before these mega-events. The Olympics provided more and bigger opportunities for public funding to go into private pockets. People ask, “Is it a failure? Will Rio be ready?” I always reply that those are not the right questions. The bid was constructed to benefit precisely who it actually benefitted: the big construction companies and the magnates behind them—not the people of Rio, who are once again stuck with the bill and with little to show for it.” 

In the plenary session, Reform in sport: An inside job or an outside intervention:

Richard W. Pound, Member of the International Olympic Committee said:

On Russia: “If you’re part of the system, you’re part of the system and you have to accept your share of responsibility”

“Some people think that to be part of the Olympic games is a right, in fact, it’s a privilege.” – Richard W. Pound

Play the Game 2017 - Plenary session: Reform in sport: An inside job or an outside intervention?
Plenary session: Reform in sport: An inside job or an outside intervention? Panel debate at Play the Game 2017. Photo: Thomas Søndergaard/Play the Game

Investigative journalist, Declan Hill said: “Who wants to eat a sausage regulated by a sausage factory.”

“Sport is far too important to be self regulated.” – Declan Hill

Here is advice from Hill for young journalists on how to break through in journalism:

To read more about the days events and ‘A broken Rio with no accountability’ click here.


We also began interrupting conversations during the coffee breaks to find some colourful characters to interview for our Humans of PTG segment. Our first interviewees came from Poland and answered what they are most looking forward to about the conference. Their answers are below!

In Window Undressing: Stories from International Sport: 

Declan Hill kept things interesting by walking through the audience in his presentation titled  The ded is dead: the Russian mob and the Sochi Games. Humour was ripe throughout, recommendations of food to eat in Moscow were dished out and he relied on pregnant pauses for comic relief. 

My personal favourites were:

“For anyone who is news challenged, this is Vladimir Putin” and

“This is a photo of Sicily on steroids.”

General consensus from the On the Game 17 Newsdesk: Hill needed more than 10 minutes for this presentation. It was over too soon!

LASTLY – Here are some photos of our news team working hard.

Authors note: Once again, I wish this newsletter/analysis segment could be longer, and include every speaker, but it was impossible to be in two (or four!) places at once. One issue I had was that I wanted to attend every session, as they were all so interesting. I have noticed I have somewhat neglected sports governance and anti-doping thus far. It is on it’s way! We still have two more newsletters to go.

See you tomorrow!



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