Why sports federations are under increasing scrutiny from competition authorities
Published 19 December 2017 By: Viktoria Tsvetanova
Sport governing bodies are responsible for upholding fair competition in their respective sport, but are they themselves abiding by competition rules? This is a question the European Commission and national competition authorities are seeking to address.
In recent years, competition authorities have demonstrated an increased interest in the sports sector. To date, skating, horse riding, tennis, football and bodybuilding governing bodies have been investigated. Most recently, in October 2017, a meeting was rumoured to have taken place between the European Commission and the European national competition authorities to discuss coordinated investigations into the rules imposed by sport federations. Coincidentally, at the end of October, the German national competition authority (the Bundeskartellamt) commenced an investigation into the German Olympic Sports Federation and, by extension, the International Olympic Committee (IOC), which sets the rules that the national body enforces.
To examine this issue, this article will look at:
- The application of EU competition rules to sport governing bodies;
- What sparked competition authorities' increased interest in the rules implemented by sport governing bodies;
- The German national competition authority's investigation of the German Olympic Sports Federation;
Get access to this article and all of the expert analysis and commentary at LawInSport
Already a member?
Articles, webinars, conference videos and podcast transcripts
This work was written for and first published on LawInSport.com (unless otherwise stated) and the copyright is owned by LawInSport Ltd. Permission is granted to make digital or hard copies of this work (or part, or abstracts, of it) for personal use provided copies are not made or distributed for profit or commercial advantage, and provided that all copies bear this notice and full citation on the first page (which should include the URL, company name (LawInSport), article title, author name, date of the publication and date of use) of any copies made. Copyright for components of this work owned by parties other than LawInSport must be honoured.
- Tags: Competition | German National Competition Authority (Bundeskartellamt) | German Olympic Sports Federation | Germany | Ice Skating | International Olympic Committee (IOC) | International Skating Union's (ISU) | Olympic | Paralympic | Rule 40 | The European Commission | Treaty on the Functioning of the European Union (TFEU)
- Navigating Olympic advertising: Rule 40 – a global perspective
- The Pechstein judgment: CAS’s reaction & potential ramifications
- How MLS’ single entity status works and its relationship with antitrust law
- A review of the legal & commercial issues of ground sharing in the Premier League & Premiership Rugby
Prior to joining Dentons, Viktoria obtained a Master’s degree in European Law from the College of Europe, majoring in competition law, and worked in the EU Competition and Antirust departments at two international law firms in Brussels.
Before starting her career in law, Viktoria was an international badminton player, representing Scotland at numerous badminton tournaments and event around the world. Viktoria is originally from Bulgaria, and has lived in Switzerland, Cyprus, Belgium and Scotland. Viktoria has on-the-ground experience in the Scottish, Bulgarian, Belgian and Malaysian legal systems, and works in English, French, Bulgarian and Russian.