Policies and developmentFudiskenttä. KUVA: Rodeo

Sport policy is designed to promote sport and physical activity and, through them, the wellbeing of the population, as well as competitive and performance sports and related civic activity.

The Ministry of Education and Culture is responsible for creating favourable conditions for sports and physical activity as well as for the reconciliation and development of sport policy. Steering in the area is based on the principle of knowledge management and impact assessment.

The Ministry of Education and Culture stresses the importance of the health and wellbeing of the population. The Ministry also emphasises the role sport and physical activity play in strengthening civil society and inclusion. The Ministry supports ethically sustainable performance sports that seek to achieve international success.

Sport policy objectives are specified in sport legislation, and key development guidelines are established in the Government Programme and in separate programmes.

Development takes place in collaboration with different sectors, because decisions made in areas such as early childhood education, schools, working life, elderly care and community and transport planning all have an impact on mobility.

To improve inter-administrative activities, the Ministry of Education and Culture and the

Ministry of Social Affairs and Health have set up a sport steering group for promoting health and wellbeing. In line with the steering group’s policies, the objective is to encourage Finns to exercise more and sit less.

Ethical principles of physical activity and sports

One of the objectives of the Act on the Promotion of Sports and Physical Activity is integrity and ethical principles in the context of physical activity and performance sports. The basis for achieving the objectives of the Act includes the principles of equality, non-discrimination, social inclusion, multiculturalism, healthy lifestyles and sustainable development.

The Ministry applies ethical principles, non-discrimination and equality in physical activity and sport in every aspect of its operations, for instance when evaluating the eligibility of organisations that promote sport and physical activity for government grants and when assessing the magnitude of central government transfers for them.

Four international agreements have been signed in this area: European Anti-Doping Convention (ratified by Finland in 1990), UNESCO International Convention against Doping in Sport (ratified by Finland in 2006), European Convention on Spectator Violence (ratified by Finland in 1987) and Convention on the Manipulation of Sports Competitions (ratified by Finland in 2014). In addition to these, several international recommendations have been made in the field of sport.

The task of the Finnish Center for Integrity in Sports (FINCIS) is, together with sport and fitness organisations, to promote ethics in sport, to oversee doping control and to prevent the manipulation of sports competitions and spectator violence in Finland. 

Anti-doping work

The purpose of anti-doping work is to prevent the use of performance-enhancing substances or methods that are harmful to the health of athletes. The Ministry of Education and Culture is responsible for promoting and supporting anti-doping efforts in Finland. 

The Ministry of Education and Culture promotes anti-doping work and supports it financially. The Ministry steers the development of anti-doping activities in sports bodies by increasing and, if needed, decreasing its financial support to them. The Ministry of Social Affairs and Health is responsible for legislation relating to medicines and the Ministry of Justice for updating and amending the Criminal Code.

Athletes must abide by the Anti-doping Code adopted by the Finnish Anti-doping Agency (FINADA), the anti-doping rules of their national and international federations and, in Olympic sports, the World Anti-Doping Code.

International action is taken to harmonise the rules and practices of different countries and organisations, to develop testing and intensify information and education. Finland takes part in international anti-doping cooperation within UNESCO and the World Anti-Doping Agency (WADA). Anti-doping efforts are also part of sport and athletics co-operation carried out within the European Union. (Links to the websites in question)

Advisory board for sport-related ethical questions

Addressing ethical issues requires co-operation between public authorities and other actors. The Ministry of Education and Culture established an advisory board for sport-related ethical matters. The advisory board will help coordinate and cooperate between different administrative branches and sports bodies.

The objective of the advisory board is to promote fair play in sport and compliance with international conventions related to sport-related ethical issues.

The task of the advisory board is to:

  • monitor and develop the joint activities of the public authorities and the sports movement in matters related to ethical questions
  • keep track of international cooperative efforts towards the resolution of sport-related ethical problems.
  • make recommendations on sport-related ethical issues to parties affected by them at any given time
  • serve as a national body for cooperation and coordination between sporting associations, public authorities and the gaming sector in matters regarding prevention of the rigging of sporting competitions
  • act in accordance with the Convention on the Manipulation of Sports Competitions as a national action group

The advisory board can make proposals to the Ministry on reports, studies and development projects as well as issue statements to the Ministry on sport-related ethical issues.

In the initial phase of its operations, the advisory board will define the principles for cooperation in relation to the rigging of sports competitions, spectator violence and anti-doping activities as well as specify the responsibilities of different actors in national efforts to eradicate the manipulation of sports competitions and spectator violence.

The advisory board also has a working division, which serves as the national action group in accordance with the Convention on the Manipulation of Sports Competitions.



Contact information

Satu Heikkinen, kulttuuriasiainneuvos 
Ministry of Education and Culture, Nuoriso- ja liikuntapolitiikan osasto (NUOLI), Division for Sport 0295330102