Caribbean Association of National Olympic Committees (CANOC) president Brian Lewis has urged organisations to adopt the Sport Integrity Global Alliance’s (SIGA’s) universal standards before they criticise other bodies.
Lewis, also president of the Trinidad and Tobago Olympic Committee (TTO C), was attending the first edition of SIGA’s Sport Integrity Forum here which featured three panel discussions dedicated to the integrity of sport.
He was speaking before the CANOC Extraordinary General Assembly in Barranquilla, Colombia, yesterday, where he sought election as the organisation’s head.
Lewis was unanimously elected on an interim basis to replace Barbados’ Steve Stoute at an Annual General Meeting in Guadeloupe in October and made his intentions clear to run for the job on a permanent basis.
Dominican Republic’s José Joaquín Puello had launched a surprise bid for the role, with the official also seeking the presidency of the Pan American Sports Organisation (PASO) in April.
The CANOC adopted adopted SIGA’s universal standards under the leadership of Steve Stoute, with the standards designed to uphold and implement the highest standards of good governance, financial integrity and sports betting integrity.
Under Lewis’ interim leadership of CANOC, which represents 26 organisations that includes 20 National Olympic Committees (NOCs), is also set to work with SIGA to provide training, education and capacity building for all its NOCs to share best practice.
Reflecting on the drive to improve governance in the Caribbean, Lewis urged organisations not to point fingers and urged SIGA to act as a bridge-builder between sporting bodies.
“I am immensely proud to be representing CANOC with my colleague Keith Joseph [CANOC General Secretary],” Lewis said here.
“Sometimes the Caribbean is taken for granted in global discussions, while people often feed and generate profit through our talents.
“History is a powerful teacher and we should be aware that sport cannot exist in a vacuum.
“SIGA must not be an ideological platform to bring through people’s own ideas, but instead it needs to help share thoughts and act as a bridge builder.
“We need to appreciate different economic realities, as some integrity issues such as sports betting might be due to a person’s need to feed a hungry child.
“We should not point fingers and while it is a time for action, we must be mindful that SIGA remains a bridge builder.” Lewis’ rousing speech was one of the concluding remarks of the first edition of the Forum, with SIGA stating future editions are planned.