Statement: 2015 European Judo Championships review

After the disappointment of losing the right to host the European Judo Championships, the British Judo Association (BJA), together with UK Sport, instigated a review process, which included the investigations and report of Mr Mark Gay of Hamlins Solicitors. The BJA and its board co-operated fully with Mr Gay’s investigations.

As an element of implementing the recommendations identified in the report, including the recommendation that the BJA should consider commencing disciplinary proceedings against its CEO, a full and thorough internal disciplinary investigation, which included a review of the Hamlins report and additional evidence as required, was undertaken. Subsequently a BJA disciplinary panel was formed. The constitution and composition of the panel was independent of the BJA board and included a member fully independent of British Judo. The panel was also guided and assisted by the BJA’s external employment law specialists.

At the conclusion of a disciplinary hearing, the panel exonerated the Chief Executive in respect of all of the major allegations contained within the Hamlins report. However, the panel concluded that Chief Executive was found to be responsible in respect of a few of the more minor allegations and consequently appropriate disciplinary action was taken.

The above process has now been concluded. The Chief Executive of the BJA continues in the post that he has held since 2012 and the BJA Board and staff look forward to working with the CEO to take our Association forward.

The board of the BJA fully acknowledges that there are lessons to be learned from the Review process and therefore, in partnership with our stakeholders UK Sport and Sport England, we are committed to undertaking a full review of our governance procedures to ensure that our future governance is of the highest standard and fully supports the principles established in the Government’s recently published Charter for Sports Governance and is compliant with the more detailed code which shall emerge later in the year.

However, following the conclusion of these processes, the board recognises the need for the BJA to move forward and to look to the future constructively and positively for the good of the British Judo community.

Ronnie Saez
Chairman, British Judo Association