The Caribbean Association of National Olympic Committees (CANOC) became the latest organisation to adopt the Sport Integrity Global Alliance’s (SIGA’s) Universal Standards on Sunday, in a demonstration of CANOC’s commitment to upholding and implementing the highest standards across good governance, financial integrity and sports betting integrity. The decision was made on Sunday 23 October, at CANOC’s General Assembly, one day following the annual CANOC Workshop that addressed Governance, and which featured presentations by ICSS personnel, Emanuel Medeiros and Katie Simmonds

CANOC represents 26 organisations that includes 20 of the world’s 206 National Olympic Committees (NOCs) and was founded in 1999 to coordinate the development of sport and Olympism in the Caribbean region. In addition to adopting the draft set of SIGA Universal Standards, CANOC will work closely with SIGA to provide training, education and capacity building for all its NOCs, in order to share best practice and facilitate the effective implementation of the Universal Standards. As part of the agreed implementation plan, CANOC and SIGA will host a workshop in Barranquilla, Colombia at the beginning of 2017.

The draft set of SIGA Universal Standards was approved at the SIGA General Assembly in September. The highly-respected multi-industry experts that comprise SIGA’s membership drafted the Universal Standards over six months, drawing on the best practice and guidance currently available to the sports industry. SIGA has now embarked on an extensive collaborative phase, during which it will meet and consult with as many sports organisations as possible to identify areas where its Universal Standards can be strengthened and improved. CANOC will be one such organisation, before SIGA launches the final draft of Standards and its suggested road map towards implementation and adoption at the start of next year.

The SIGA Council said:

“We are delighted that CANOC has agreed to adopt the SIGA Universal Standards. CANOC has been a supporter of SIGA from the outset and shares our belief that there remains considerable scope to foster improvement in the way sport is governed. SIGA looks forward to working closely with CANOC to deliver what has been promised: credible reforms in a framework of mutual respect and enhanced cooperation for the benefit of sport in the Caribbean and beyond.”

“SIGA fully understands that it is by no means alone in working to deliver a step change in sporting integrity: while SIGA is very pleased with the current set of Universal Standards we know there is room for improvement, by listening to and learning from organisations operating throughout the sports industry. We hope that CANOC will be the first of many sports organisations that will commit to working with SIGA, so that together we can bring about real, lasting positive change for the benefit of everyone in the sports industry.”

Commenting on CANOC’s decision shortly after being appointed ad interim President of CANOC, Brian Lewis, said:

“CANOC must lead from in front in respect of good governance reform and modernisation. A close cooperation and partnership with SIGA is a tremendous boost in respect of capacity building. CANOC’s strategic action plan, of which the collaboration with SIGA is a part, is now set to significantly strengthen efforts to drive governance reform throughout Caribbean sport.”