Recently, Professor of Practice Catherine Ordway participated in a joint Web-Ex lecture on anti-corruption which was jointly hosted by ROLAC (Centre for Rule of Law and Anti-Corruption) and UNODC (United Nations Office on Drugs and Crime) .

Catherine Ordway presented her paper titled ‘Sports Corruption: Justice and Accountability through the Use of the UNCAC and the UNTOC’, which she co-wrote with Dr Nikos Passas from Northeastern University.

Paper abstract

The corruption scandal currently engulfing football’s international governing body, the Fédération Internationale de Football Association (FIFA), and the recent allegations of bribery in order to host the 2006 World Cup in Germany[1] raise a number of issues.  Allegations in recent years of bribery, embezzlement, misappropriation, money-laundering, vote rigging and other abuses of power within several international sports federations demand that this type of misconduct be investigated and prosecuted.  In the absence of a comparable international integrity oversight body similar to the World Anti-Doping Agency (WADA), it is timely to examine the applicability and potential usefulness of existing international instruments.

Given that the United Nations Conventions against Corruption (UNCAC) and against Transnational Organized Crime (UNTOC) represent the most comprehensive global standards and have the highest number of States Parties (177 and 185 respectively, as of October 2015), this paper examines in detail the applicability of these instruments to the most prominent and challenging sports corruption instances revealed in recent times.  The misconduct covered by these instruments and their mutual legal assistance frameworks, in addition to innovative provisions on dual criminality, asset recovery and the definition of an organized criminal group, can significantly enhance international cooperation and effective law enforcement.  In this way, justice, accountability and greater transparency will be boosted on a global scale.


Catherine Ordway is a Professor of Practice in La Trobe Business School, specialising in sport management. She has more than 20 years experience in the Sports Industry and continues to provide consultancy services to Olympic bidding cities, government agencies and sporting organisations on integrity and anti-doping issues. Catherine is a member of the SportAccord (GAISF), IBAF (baseball), ICC and West Indies (cricket) anti-doping tribunals, and is the IAAF (athletics) medical and anti-doping delegate for Australia.