The International Olympic Committee defines “Safe Sport” (or “Sport Sécuritaire” in French) as “an environment where athletes can train and compete in healthy and supportive surroundings; an environment which is respectful, equitable, and free from all forms of harassment and abuse”.
In recent years, there has been a growing awareness of the importance of promoting Safe Sport and preventing forms of violence such as hazing, harassment, and maltreatment. The recent scandals in French and Canadian sports federations demonstrate a shortage of responsibility, accountability, and a governance crisis, which contributes to the culture of silence and directly impacts the sports systems.
Arbitration has the potential to challenge the culture of silence and promote change in the sport culture by ensuring that Safe Sport policies are properly enforced and disputes are resolved fairly and objectively. By providing an external, independent, impartial, and objective forum for resolving disciplinary disputes, arbitration can help protect the rights and interests of athletes and sports organizations and promote change in the sport culture.
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