In a significant shift targeting sports discipline and national unity, Lithuania's National Sports Agency (NSA) is contemplating stringent measures for athletes who receive state stipends. This action is a direct response to the challenges faced during the assembly of the Lithuanian basketball team last summer.
The aim is to ensure that athletes, financially supported by the state, fulfill their obligations to participate in international events.
Presently, nearly two hundred high-level athletes are beneficiaries of the state's financial sponsorship. The proposed alterations, considered for the forthcoming version of the Sports Law, could result in athletes forfeiting their stipends if they abstain from contributing to national teams without a credible reason.
Marius Žiūkas, the head of the high-performance sports department at the NSA, voiced the need to balance rights with obligations. The impact of these obligations would manifest differently across various sports disciplines.
Economic Implications of the Proposed Law
Under the current stipends system, athletes can earn up to 2,000 euros per month for their performances in international venues like the Philippines.
The implementation of the new obligations could affect their income and, in turn, their commitment to the sport. The proposed changes, therefore, require careful consideration to strike a balance between national interests and athletes' rights.