DOSB and Athleten Deutschland, their safe sports centre project. GETTY IMAGES

The German Olympic Sports Association (DOSB) and Athletes Deutschland have published a legal report on the establishment of a Safe Sport Centre (ZfSS) and a draft Safe Sport Code.

The DOSB and Athletes Germany have published a legal report on the establishment of a ZfSS and a draft Safe Sport Code. The report, which was commissioned from the law firm Arnecke Sibeth Dabelstein (ASD), aims to create the legal basis for the effective fulfilment of the tasks of the independent Safe Sport Centre.

The dialogue process was led by the Federal Ministry of the Interior (BMI) to develop a roadmap for the establishment of the Safe Sport Centre and to address legal and organisational issues. Topics coordinated by the BMI include the development of a Safe Sport Code (SSC), the organisational structure of the Safe Sport Centre, and the scope and application of the SSC.

Michaela Röhrbein, Director of Sport Development at the DOSB, said: "It is important that the report and the project contribute to clarifying the necessary legal and organisational framework for an independent Safe Sport Centre. The report should form the basis for future discussions and decisions in the process of establishing the independent Safe Sport Centre.

"This will enable us to develop the best possible and, above all, legally sound solutions for the benefit of those concerned, which remains our top priority," said Röhrbein.

Leon Ries, Director of Youth Sport at the DOSB and CEO of the Deutsche Sportjugend (dsj), added: "The goal of all parties involved is to prevent any form of interpersonal violence in sport. On the basis of the report, we will now enter into further discussions with those affected and stakeholders in politics, sport, science and society".

The Safe Sport Code will serve as a set of basic and cross-cutting rules to protect against interpersonal violence in organised sport. It  defines five types of prohibited behaviour: physical violence, sexual violence, psychological violence, discrimination and neglect. 

The Code also marks out areas of responsibility and competence with regard to legal and procedural arrangements, in particular related to an investigation focused on the parties involved and the imposition of sanctions for inappropriate behaviour in sport.

Regarding the scope and application of the Safe Sport Code, the report states that the Safe Sport Code should be enacted as a set of rules for organised sport and not as a general federal law on "safe sport". 

According to the experts, the prerequisite for the application of the Code is the voluntary adherence by sports federations and clubs, which should be binding on their members and non-members within their sphere of influence. Without stakeholder involvement, there will be no acceptance, let alone implementation, hence the importance of stakeholder involvement. 

Similarly, it is essential for the ZfSS to be able to carry out its tasks that certain framework conditions are created by the state, including the creation of a secure legal basis for data processing by the ZfSS and sports organisations, which can only be done by the federal legislator.