Sport WHISTLE Project Enters Final Phase

Results of research and development Project on Whistleblowing
10/15/2018 14:24

The Sport WHISTLE project, funded by the ERASMUS+ programme of the European Commission, is advancing toward the final point on its agenda, the policy recommendations on whistleblowing.


The project is one of the first efforts to address whistleblowing: exposing any kind of information or activity that is deemed illegal, unethical, or not correct within an organisation. The policy recommendations will be based on a one-year research project that included 79 sport stakeholders in 7 European countries who contributed to the projects aims of raising awareness, guiding and informing athletes and other stakeholders to resist and report harmful irregularities, and encouraging and helping sport organisations to introduce compliance systems and mechanisms for internal reporting.


Research yielded some relevant findings for policy makers in sport. Sport stakeholders reported a high level of cognitive dissonance when it comes to whistleblowing, meaning that even though they viewed whistleblowing as ethically positive they were concerned about the level of support and potential negative consequences of blowing the whistle. Most of sport actors viewed whistleblowing as risky and difficult, so the decision to blow the whistle or not will depend on multiple factors such as which irregularity is detected, in which discipline, which wrongdoer was it and what level of proof is available.


Following from the key findings, researchers from the French Institute for International and Strategic Affairs have reported the four managerial recommendations:

  • Adapt the whistleblowing tools and education programmes to each sport context;
  • Set the tone from the top, and make sure that ethical issues spread through the whole structure;
  • Educate and inform about recognizing and resisting irregularities;
  • Survey your constituents and take their perceptions/interests into account.

The Sport WHISTLE project partners will present the results of the two-year project and gather whistleblowing experts at a final Conference in Thessaloniki from 19th to 20th November, 2018.