The Swiss Times - Swiss News in English

Federal government should exercise greater control over subsidies for elite sport

The Department of Defense wants to further strengthen the federal government's oversight of the allocation of subsidies for elite sport. In principle, an internal audit report considers the measures to combat abuse and bullying in sport to be on track.

The audit showed that the Federal Office of Sport (Baspo) and the umbrella organization Swiss Olympic are taking their responsibilities seriously, the Federal Department of Defence, Civil Protection and Sport (DDPS) wrote in a press release on Monday. They are driving forward the corresponding measures with great commitment.

However, the report makes three recommendations for improvements. Specifically, the Baspo should be given greater insight into the allocation of subsidies. This concerns how Swiss Olympic decides on the allocation of funds.

In addition, the exchange of data between private organizations and the Federal Office is to be given its own legal basis and the funding of a disciplinary chamber is to be secured. Sports Minister Viola Amherd has instructed Matthias Remund, Director of the Federal Office, to implement the measures by the end of the year, according to the press release.

Humiliation and insults

The background to this is the so-called "Magglingen protocols". In autumn 2020, the "Tages-Anzeiger" magazine published cases of bullying and abuse of young female athletes in rhythmic gymnastics at the national performance center in Magglingen BE. Later, artistic gymnasts also reported psychological violence, including former top gymnast Ariella Kaeslin.

As a result, the Confederation created a reporting office, among other things. The Swiss sports parliament also adopted an ethics statute. One aim of the next steps is now to implement and enforce its principles.

©Keystone/SDA

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