Former IOC vice president and WADA president, Richard W. Pound, was on Monday evening presented with the Play the Game 2013-award.
In his speach, Soeren Riiskjaer, vice chairman of the board, stated that change in international sport is not made because journalists, whistleblowers and organisations like Play the Game make lots of noise from the outside.
”Change must come from the inside where you have to be diplomatic, discreet and very low-key. But it is sometimes difficult to find leaders on the inside of sport who are really committed to go to the root of problems”, Mr. Riiskjaer said.
Ruthless and direct
The vice chairman pointed out that there is at least one courageous insider who proves, he can achieve a lot, even if he is often anything but discreet, diplomatic and low-key.
”And we are definitely not talking about a Mr. Nobody in the international sports movement,” Mr. Riiskjaer added.
Before asking Mr. Pound on stage, Soren Riiskjaer called the former IOC vice president’s methods both ruthless and direct when it comes to pointing his fingers at the all too many sore points in the international fight against doping.
In 2011 Jens Weinreich and Andrew Jennings received the Play the Game Award. The award has been given six times since 2002.
Play the Game 2013 is just around the corner, and before the big conference in Aarhus, Denmark kicks off, the International Director for Play the Game, Jens Sejer Andersen, is very excited about this years conference.
– This conference will outdo all the previous Play the Game conferences. This year the largest number of different experts and representatives from various unions and organisations, we have ever seen at a Play the Game conference, says Jens Sejer Andersen.
This is the eighth biannual conference and Jens Sejer Andersen is thrilled about the development Play the Game has achieved throughout these years.
– You just need to take a look at how big the issue on match fixing has become the last couple of years. I believe Play the Game is a big part of that along with a whole range of other huge topics such as doping and corruption.
The Largest Play the Game Conference
This year will have the largest attendance of participants with just around 350 people joining the conference through the four days in Aarhus.
– It’s very positive that the conference is growing each year. Now the sporting world know who we are and what we are trying to do. That gives us a whole new role in the debates to promote democracy, transparency and the freedom of expression, says Jens Sejer Andersen.
This is the main goal for the Play the Game conference in Aarhus 2013. This year’s conference will focusing on these themes during the four days of intense sports debates:
Match-fixing: Fair game for gangsters?
Sports reforms: Fact or Phantom?
The anti-doping dilemma: Saving sport, sacrificing athletes?
Recreational sport: A lost cause for sports organisations?
Sports facilities: Who are we building for?
From Russia to Rio: Power games or people’s games?
Speakers will create debate
More than 300 participants from about 40 countries has announced their arrival in Aarhus for the conference. Nearly 150 speakers will start a ton of different debates with a simple purpose to promote democracy, transparency and freedom of expression in sport.
This is the eighth Play the Game conference that had its first back in 1997.