"Sport is a public interest, played and viewed by billions, whose tax dollars often fund the hosting of major sporting events. Sport is also organised on the historic principle of autonomy, however, and sports organisations – whether international organisations, regional confederations or national associations – are subsequently afforded ‘non-profit’ or ‘non-governmental organisation’ status in most jurisdictions. This allows them to operate without any effective external oversight (or interference, depending on perspective). The statutes of most sports associations therefore require that reforms are initiated and approved by the same individuals who will be most directly affected by them. It stands to reason, then, that the murkiest sports will be the most resistant to self-incrimination and change.
Even the corporate structures of sport are largely archaic. The administration of sport is often overseen by ex-athletes with little prior experience in management, operating through very linear hierarchical organisational models. While these models may have worked in the past, many international sports organisations (ISOs), regional confederations and national sports organisations (NSOs) have simply not kept pace with the huge commercial growth of the sector, and have even chosen not to adapt in order to protect certain self interests, including high salaries, bonuses and virtually limitless tenures.
Finally, this insular environment is facilitated by the countries that host these organisations, such as Switzerland and the United Arab Emirates, which traditionally afford favourable legal status and generous tax breaks in order to attract and keep ISOs resident. Changes to tighten legal accountability are under way, but these are usually tempered with caution since ISOs may simply relocate if the screws are tightened."