Blacklist to keep sex offenders out of sports clubs: report

This year the umbrella organizations for sports union NOC*NSF and volunteers' organizations NOV will create a joint blacklist on which anyone convicted of or sanctioned for a sex crime will be registered. This is to prevent sex offenders from bouncing between sports clubs and volunteer organizations unhindered, AD reports.

The case against Rotterdam athletics coach Jerry M., who confessed to sexually abusing at least nine girls at multiple sports clubs over a period of 35 years, again exposed the shortcomings of the current system, Geert Slot of NOC*NSF said to AD. "The case has once again made it clear to us that sexual abuse occurs too often in sport. And once again it turned out that such a situation could continue for too long without it being tackled effectively", he said.

NOC*NSF and NOV currently have separate blacklists of sex offenders. The lists contain only people who were convicted under disciplinary law by the sports and judiciary institute ISR. Both lists are virtually empty, because associations send few reports to the disciplinary judge. Many cases are handled by association boards with internal sanctions. Which means that other sports associations can't check whether a new coach or other volunteer has a history of sexual abuse. 

The new blacklist will combine the lists of the NOC*NSF and NOV, and include people with a criminal conviction or internal sanction for a sex crime. "We want someone who is banned by the association board or suspended because of an ongoing investigation also on the blacklist", Slot said to the newspaper. The two organizations hope that this will prevent sex offenders from just moving on to another sports club after being caught. 

The NOC*NSF and NOV were already planning to implement this list last year. The Dutch data protection authority AP already approved the list, but due to the new privacy law, the new procedure must again be assessed. They now plan to apply for a permit for the new registration system by the summer. 

Victim Support recently revealed that the number of sexual abuse reports from the sports world tripled over the past year.