Sport Resolutions' 2022/23 Annual Report has been published.
In announcing the 2022/23 Annual Report, Sport Resolutions' Chair Audley Sheppard KC said:
“The importance and gravity of what we do is clear. SR plays an integral part in the proceedings that it administers, and it is a right of parties involved to expect that any process is fair, transparent, independent and expert. Sometimes parties may be unhappy with the outcome, but I am very confident that our processes meet these four criteria.”
“The trust placed in SR is evidenced by the major events and Games that rely on us to provide panels and necessary administrative support. Those organising such events seek comfort that, in the event that issues arise affecting athletes in the competition requiring speedy determination, a trusted partner is in place to deal with any eventuality - not an insignificant responsibility. In the last year we have provided such support for the Rugby League World Cup, the Billie Jean King Cup, the Davis Cup and the Commonwealth Games.”
“In relation to our international work, we have recently been engaged to provide services for World Boxing, World Triathlon, World Darts and World Netball – in addition to the International Federations that already use SR such as International Tennis Federation and World Athletics.”
“It is interesting to note the different services accessed by these new sports. Some require assistance with their anti-doping processes, some in relation to safeguarding, others to provide a vetting service and others with general disciplinary processes.”
Sport Resolutions' Chief Executive Richard Harry stated:
“Our work and the use of our services continues to grow, with much of that growth in safeguarding and international work. By the end of the year, the SR staff team had grown to 15 to reflect the increasing demand for our services.”
“We continue to operate the Safeguarding Case Management Service (SCMP), with 43 NGBs now signed up and able to access the support provided by SR, namely initial advice, investigations and the provision of hearing panels. This service is designed to assist NGBs with the management of safeguarding cases below the high-performance level.”
“In May 2022, SR launched Sport Integrity with the support of UK Sport. This service is designed to provide a confidential means for those in high performance, namely those in the Olympic and Paralympic system, to make complaints about a range of issues such as bullying, harassment, discrimination and safeguarding matters.”
“After one year, Sport Integrity has been a well-used service and hopefully it will soon become a trusted tool to be used to air and address grievances and concerns. As a measure of its success, it should be noted that the scope of the service has already been expanded to include allegations of policy breaches such as Code of Conduct or Performance Agreements, and UK Sport has requested that all funded sports sign up to the service by the end of 2023.”
“SR is proud to be trusted to operate the SCMP and Sport Integrity but the support and vision of both Sport England and UK Sport should rightly be acknowledged.”
Sport Resolutions’ Head of Case Management Catherine Pitre added:
“SR’s safeguarding expertise is now being called upon increasingly to deliver those same services to international federations (IFs), with a rising number of IFs integrating SR into their policies and dispute resolution processes, some of which have opted to fully outsource their safeguarding function and complaints management process to it. Evidently, the need to maintain independence throughout the lifecycle of a case is paramount, with strict measures in place to ensure it.”
“There has also been increasing interest from sports governing bodies, and particularly IFs, to adopt the “SR formula” of populating panels with a legally qualified and experienced Chair supported by specialist side members with expertise in the subject-matter of the dispute – for example, scientists and pharmacologists in anti-doping matters, ethicists in integrity-related violations, and social workers in safeguarding matters. The vast majority of processes administered by SR envisage for it to select the arbitrators appointed to a case, and due to its expertise in doing so and populating tribunals with relevant and complimentary skill-sets and experience, very few challenges to composition are received. Despite the relatively low percentage of women on our Panel, we are proud that parties entrust us to appoint panel members to their cases, and that as a result, the gender diversity of those appointments continue to be fairly evenly split. With our next panel recruitment process fast approaching and opening in Autumn 2023, we hope that it will result in greater diversity in all of its forms, and would encourage those with relevant experience and skill-sets to consider applying.”
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