淺談運動改革(一)A Discussion on Sports Reform (1)

 

運動員於大型國際運動賽事,例如:奧運、亞運、世大運、經典賽與世足賽等為國爭取榮耀,向來為國人所注目的焦點,但近期卻未隨者里約奧運的落幕而停歇,反而爭議風波不斷,掀起一片運動改革的聲浪,其中主要的矛頭是對準各單項的運動協會。

 

 為何運動協會成為眾矢之的?原因在於運動協會對於選手的選拔、參賽、補助等重要事項,握有絕對的權力,但內部決定程序卻又極度不透明,且無選手救濟管道所致。上述問題凸顯了國內運動法制的不足,目前規範國內業餘運動主要的法源是國民體育法,全文共22條,屬於基本法性質。其中關於單項運動協會的規定在第8條第1項及第2項:「民間依法成立之各種公益體育團體,其業務應受各該主管機關之指導及定期考核。前項之考核項目應包括民眾參與之規劃。」然而主管機關如何指導?如何考核?以及2016年修法時加入的民眾參與項目,體育署於雖2002年公布全國性體育團體輔導及考核辦法,但內容空泛,無相關標準可供依循,造成過度放任運動協會自治,問題層出不窮,甚至爆出造假等爭議事件產生。

 

在輿論批評單項運動協會缺乏監督以及欠缺選手救濟制度下,教育部緊急修正全國性體育團體輔導及考核辦法,預計2016年10月20日公布施行,主要改革之處在於:1.財務透明化;2.營運專業化;3.績效考核客觀化等三大項目,並且研議規劃設置仲裁機制,主管機關立意雖然良善,但台灣關於運動的規範嚴重不足,雖然主管機關先以法規命令填補空缺,但不免有頭痛醫頭,腳痛醫腳的問題,事實上目前所爆發的爭議只是冰山一角,不論在業餘運動或是運動產業制度上多有可議之處,主管機關與立法者應該正視並通盤找出問題及解決問題。

 

Star athletes and their impeccable performances in large international sporting events such as the Olympics, Asian Games, Universiade, World Baseball Classic and FIFA World Cup often capture the attention of interested viewers in Taiwan.  However, such attention has prolonged unexpectedly after the passing of the recent Rio Olympics, as past and present controversies within the industry have surfaced leading to waves of discontent voices pushing for sports reform in Taiwan.  In particular, these calls for action have aimed directly at individual sports associations.

 

So why have sports associations come under fire to criticisms?  This is because athletic and sports associations in Taiwan hold the absolute power over vital matters including the selection of athletes, the participation in games, as well as the subsidies and grants to be given to individuals.  These internal decision-making procedures are extremely opaque, and athletes are often left without any recourse for help or appeal.  Furthermore, it exposes the inadequacy and inefficiency of our domestic sports law regime. 

 

Currently, there are only 22 articles under the National Sports Law that serves as the main legal norm regulating amateur sports.  Under Article 8 paragraphs 1 and 2 that regulate individual sports associations, it states that: “the various public welfare sports organizations established by the public in accordance with the law shall be subject to the guidance and regular assessment by the competent authorities.  The assessment items in the preceding paragraph shall include the public’s participation in planning”.   However, the law has failed to stipulate exactly what and how are the competent authorities to give guidance or to assess.  Furthermore, the 2016 amendment that included the public’s participation in planning lacks both substance and procedure, despite the Sports Department’s persistent effort and announcement in 2002 that sought to provide instructions on the national sports organizations guidance and assessment.  The lack of relevant standards to follow resulting in the sports associations’ absolute autonomy have created endless problems in Taiwan, such as fraud and other controversial matters.

 

In light of these issues, the Ministry of Education has urgently amended the national sports organization guidance and assessment procedures promulgated on October 20, 2016.   Under such amendment, the three main goals of Taiwan’s sports reform are: (1) financial transparency; (2) specialization of the operation; and (3) the objective assessment of performance.  It also plans to establish an arbitration mechanism to deal with related disputes.  However, due to the current wide gaps in sports regulations in Taiwan, it is likely that such amendment will offer little assistance to the larger underlying problems.  In fact, the outbreak of the current controversies in the media is just the tip of the iceberg.  The competent authorities and legislators must face and solve the problems evident in the sports industry and within the realm of amateur sports.

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