On 18 November, the Finnish Ministry of Education and Culture appointed an advisory board on ethical issues in sports for 2015–2018. The advisory board will function as a coordination and cooperation body between the various administrative sectors, on the one hand, and stakeholders in sports, on the other. The advisory board will be chaired by Professor Heikki Halila. Director Harri Syväsalmi will be vice-chairman as well as chairman of the working committee.
The primary tasks of the advisory board include the promotion of ethical principles in sport, as well as national and international cooperation in order to fulfill our international obligations. As its first task the advisory board will define the principles of cooperation on the manipulation of sports competitions, prevention of spectator violence and antidoping activities.
The Council of Europe Convention on the Manipulation of Sports Competitions has been signed by 19 states and ratified by two states. The convention will enter into force once ratified by five states. Finland will ratify the convention as soon as the European Union confirms that it will join the convention.
Harri Syväsalmi, director at the Finnish Ministry of Education and Culture, has said that the measures announced on 18 November show that Finland is taking a firm stand on ethical issues.
“In Finland, we have a fresh perspective on how new operating models should be developed. There is a strong, extensive international network dealing with this matter. The network includes not only the different states but also the sports movement, gaming operators and other major players, such as Europol and Interpol.”
At first, the advisory board will discuss the proposal concerning the expansion of the duties of FINADA. According to the proposal, FINADA should coordinate not only antidoping activities but also other ethical issues in sports, as well as related educational and communications activities, among others.
“Fair play in sports is an important principle, and we all have an obligation to promote it. At FINADA, we are ready and willing to accept the proposed new duties. Fairness, reliability and cooperation are the cornerstones on which FINADA’s operations are based. These values will continue to be upheld by us, even if we are assigned new duties. The centralisation of the management of ethical issues will also rationalise antidoping activities. We are planning to start preparations before year-end so that we will be ready to take on our new extended duties,” says Pekka Ilmivalta, FINADA Chairman.