Transparency Adrenaline


By M.C. Linthoingambee

Most often than not, Sports news have mostly been relegated to the back pages of newspapers with the exceptions made for cricket. However, sports news have recently had an unusual sprint on the front page in a welcome change. One must point out here that Sports are not a common day occurrence. History records the origin of some of the world`™s greatest games like: chess, polo, etc in India. The modern era seems to be missing out on a gap in these general previews in what existed as a historical lineage is more or less forgotten. The same spirit that lived yesterday is different from what is followed today. Are sports still transparent? From the world`™s biggest event of Olympics to many small matches taking place, can we guarantee match fixing does not exist? With a ban some years back on the Indian Olympic Association by the International Olympic Association, we had seen the sporting arena likely filled with authorities putting more into their pockets rather than working for the development of the game. But it still looks like corruption is taking a heavy toll in what seems most likely to not have happened in the first place. The general rules and regulations forged against corruption never seem to take notice. Anna Hazare for example, took to fasting when he demanded for imposition of Lokayukta and the Jan Lokpal Bill to keep track of such actions.

Sports law has an unusually well developed pattern of globalized regulation and overlaps substantially with labor law, contract law, criminal law, public law, administrative law, antitrust law, competition law, intellectual property rights law, law of tort, media law, company law, human rights law etc. These laws have been applied to sporting context involving public order, drugs, safety, disciplinary measures, conduct and wider issues relating to restraint of trade, anti competitive behavior, match fixing and the commercial exploitation of sports. Issues like defamation and privacy rights are also an integral aspect of sports law. In India, sports figures in the State list of the Seventh Schedule (Entry 33) of the Constitution. The Sports Law in India is governed and regulated by National Sports Policy, Sports Law and Welfare Association of India, Sports Authority of India (SAI) and The Sports Broadcasting Law in India.

Sometimes governance works in a more different path that expected also, the movie Mary Kom depicted a subtle act of the Boxing Federation not taking the appropriate steps to better the hygiene of its boxers. Rather the ideology of a banana, an egg and chai seems appropriate for a meal in their books. The condition of the kitchen seemed more likely to deter with the presence of more rats and cockroaches taking shelter in those very rooms. Isn`™t this a point taken? Most of us seem to care more for the medals bought back home rather than to care for the fate of those responsible for the same.

The recent results at the Incheon Games have had its share of highs and lows. India ranks 8 currently but the striking return of the Indian Hockey Team and the Men`™s and Women`™s Kabbadi Team winning gold are some of those moments that come with sheer hard work. In the midst of all this, a controversy struck one of our own! I am going by the general belief that L.Sarita Devi deserved a silver medal rather than a bronze for boxing. As per the code of conduct, the idea of sportsmanship is to live by the ethics of morality. But does the decision of the Judges specify as being moral? We won`™t know for sure since it is adjudicated that what seems like a win to the spectators might be different to the eyes of a Judge.

The emergent interaction between sports and law has shaped a new need for a greater understanding of how the law relates to the sporting world and thus owning up to the diversity of the field of law. India needs expert sports law consultants to meet a fusion of diverse legal disciplines such as sports law and policy, contract, tort, taxation, labor, competition, TV rights, match fixing and related criminal laws. Things might have turned differently in the current situation and it is beneficial to take note of legal representation of experts for the future of the sports to gain effective implementation.

There are provisions for punishments on grounds of illicit practice and match fixing, doping charges, etc. But in spite of the presence, there are no proper trials for the sportsman, match fixing still happens in some of the most acknowledged events, not to mention its effect on cricket.


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