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Combatting doping and violence in Europe's sports stadia

CULT Press release - Culture10-11-2011 - 19:21

The EU should initiate strict, even penal, measures, against doping, match-fixing and violence in sports stadia, and also set up a European data base listing people banned from stadia, says a draft resolution voted by the Culture and Education Committee on Thursday.

The text on the European dimension of sport, initiated by Santiago Fisas Ayxela (EPP, ES), stresses the urgent need to protect the integrity of all sports matches, and says that doping, match-fixing, illegal betting, money laundering in connection with professional sport and violence in stadia should be made criminal offences.

Ban hooligans, crack down on doping

An EU data base listing people banned from stadia could help Member States to share information exchange on hooligans, and to enforce these bans for international matches played on their territory.

To be dissuasive, national legislation should treat trafficking in illegal performance-enhancing substances in the same way as it does trafficking in illegal drugs, say MEPs.

A professional future for high-level athletes

MEPs stress the need to draw up measures to facilitate athletes' access to specific higher studies and suggest that their practical experience be taken into account if they apply to become trainers. This could avoid sometimes disastrous precarity at the end of their careers.

Regulating sports agents

The profession of sports agents should be regulated and subject to minimum qualifications granted by a higher education establishment. In the interests of transparency, their fiscal residence should be within EU territory, says the text, which also proposes setting up a European register of players for whom agents work and the remuneration received. MEPs also call for more transparency in international transfers of players, and urge clubs to abide by immigration laws when recruiting young players from third countries.

A significant contribution from betting operators towards funding mass-participation sports should be provided for in national and European rules, say MEPs.

Strengthening European identity through sport

MEPs suggest that the European flag be displayed on the clothing of European athletes and that the European Commission designate a European day and a "European capital of sport". Promoting participation by women in sport and its governing bodies is of major importance in the Union, say MEPs. They also advocate setting up a mobility programme to enable young athletes to try out new training methods and cultures in other EU countries.

Next steps

The resolution should be put to a plenary vote at the December session in Strasbourg.

In the chair: Doris Pack (EPP/DE)

REF. : 20111107IPR30760