Alison Quigley

Restoring Trust in Sport

"No Rest for Catherine when it's Launch Week"

Preparing for my doctoral proposal at QUT on child safe policies in women’s artistic gymnastics, I leaned on an old friend, LinkedIn, for help. LinkedIn tossed around my search terms – something like integrity and sport, I’m sure – and spat out the suggestion I connect with Catherine Ordway. Who was Catherine Ordway when she was at home? Could an expert at handball connect with an ageing gymnast?

Naturally I was a tad nervous about contacting a complete stranger in this manner, but she immediately obliged with an excited message back and an invitation to Zoom. Let me just say this, then: from the moment her backgrounded screen appeared, showing an incredible Sam Kerr mid-flight in a victorious backflip, I knew there would a connection. This would be a conversation to remember. What followed was a lot of easy banter, much laughter and a vital discussion about dogs. In the weeks that have passed since that time, Catherine has been engaged in all my next moves: attentive, generous with her time and offering tips and pointers. Now it is her Launch Week, I am incredibly excited to see the release of her first book, Restoring Trust in Sport.

As a first-order matter in May I’ll be posting a review, but in the meantime please enjoy this reflective piece, produced in the book’s Foreward by David Howman, director-general of the World Anti-Doping Agency (WADA) from 2003 to 2016.

Integrity must come from the top.  The leaders who govern sports are expected to do so with a high degree of integrity.  Should they fail, they let down the athletes, the sport and the public.  It is important that integrity breaches by top sport officials be independently investigated and scrutinised in an open and transparent fashion, and that any sanction process be as robust as that meted out to athletes who break the rules.

Where there is money there is greed, and with sport betting, supply of steroids, and other banned substances, there are ready markets for easy money.  Organised crime has advanced its foray into sport, including at the top levels.  While a body of knowledge on how to combat cheating in sport is growing, it is not being shared and implemented at the same rate.  Talk fests are not enough.  Every day organised criminals can see new opportunities; efforts to combat them are not improving at the same speed, so ill-gotten gains keep increasing and criminal activity continues with impunity.

This book is not only timely, but also significant, in that it gathers considered thoughts as to how these challenges might be addressed, together with analysis on how they can be confronted.  It is one thing to identify a problem, yet quite another to answer it in a significant way.  This book does that with leading minds in the sport integrity area contributing to expose the issues and provide positive solutions for sport to regain public confidence.  The individual case studies give a global snapshot of recent controversies and provide an interesting insight into the growing world of research in sport integrity.

Restoring Trust in Sport: Corruption Cases and Solutions is a very valuable contribution to this important part of sport and will provide readers with novel material as to how these matters might be addressed in their own settings.

David Howman

Catherine’s Moves on Launch Week

Restoring Trust in Sport: radio:

Tues April 20 am on local 2CC radio.

Release on Google books

Ordway book 9780367473068