RECOMMENDATION 1047 (1986)[1]

on the dangers of boxing


    The Assembly,

  1. Recalling its Recommendation 963 (1983), on cultural and educational means of reducing violence, and the European Convention on spectator violence and misbehaviour at sports events and in particular football matches;

  2. Determined to draw a distinction between sport and legitimised gladiatorial violence, and therefore gravely concerned at the justification of many of the aspects of boxing (and especially professional boxing) as a sport in modern, civilised society;

  3. Drawing attention to the immediate and long-term effects of boxing, in particular on the mental health of boxers, and to the adverse social consequences with regard to the spectators;

  4. Supporting the recommendations made, for example by the World Medical Association, the British Medical Association and the American Medical Association, for stricter measures in the current practice of the sport in order to protect boxers ;

  5. Insisting on the need for world-wide cooperation of governments, the independent boxing associations and other national and international sporting bodies, including the International Olympic Committee, for ensuring the implementation of these recommendations in both amateur and professional boxing;

  6. Drawing a distinction between commercial and non-commercial aspects of boxing;

  7. Deploring the promotion of boxing for commercial gain (as, for example, indicated by the proliferation of international boxing bodies) and the unscrupulous advantage often taken of potential boxers from poorer social backgrounds;

  8. Believing that governments and the mass media have a duty to inform the public of the potential harmful effects of boxing, both as a sport and as an entertainment, and of the dangers it poses to society and human life, and that national parliaments have a special responsibility in this context;

  9. Welcoming the fact that most amateur boxing associations and several member states have already imposed restrictions on boxing,

  10. Recommends that the Committee of Ministers initiate through the Steering Committee for the Development of Sport a full inquiry, on a European level and in association with the boxing federations, medical bodies and other appropriate organisations, into the direct and indirect effects of boxing, and that this inquiry be charged, within a specified deadline, with making concrete proposals for such medical, technical, fiscal and other changes as would bring about:

  1. increased and improved education about the medical and social risks of boxing in general;

  2. increased safety (perhaps, for example, through the introduction of compulsory regular brain scans) ;

  3. decreased risks (perhaps, for example, through automatic bans on boxers with any brain abnormalities) ;

  4. restraints on the commercial aspects of boxing and on media coverage.

[1] Assembly debate on 24 September 1986 (18th and 19th Sittings) (see Doc. 5541, report of the Committee on Culture and Education, and Doc. 5548, opinion of the Social and Health Affairs Committee).
Text adopted by the Assembly on 24 September 1986 (19th Sitting).